(This is the second post in a new series called "Sacred Sundays". In it I hope to explore the things that move me spiritually throughout my days and weeks, and in the process hope to inspire you to explore the things that move you spiritually as well.)
I was moved to my knees by a song this week.
It's a song I've heard a number of times before. It's a song that makes my heart bend, bow, move towards our creator...every.time.I.hear.it.
Music has the power to move. Do with that what you will, but for me, music can inspire motion, action, reverence, awe, gratitude and thankfulness...just to name a few.
Earlier this week I was out for a jog when this particular song (that I will share at the end of this post) started playing on my i-pod. Running sometimes becomes more spiritual than physical for me, and this particular morning happened to be one in which the running, and the glory of God expressed in nature and the music I was listening to all merged into something beautifully spiritual and wonderful.
Fall is certainly upon us and as the trees change colors I am amazed, once again, at their beauty and the ability of nature to give us this offering year, after year, after year. Besides thankfulness, the changing of the trees often evokes a feeling of awe in me... Awe at the beauty that surrounds us created by our Heavenly Father, and that He is ultimately the one orchestrating this incredible display of beauty.
Something else struck me on that particular morning as I ran...as I looked up at the trees I started to notice how all of the branches were reaching up towards the sky...like arms stretched out and reaching, reaching towards the heavens...in praise.
I couldn't help but to stop and smile because it felt like I was joining as just one of many in a praise and worship gathering with all of creation. The trees, big and small, were all reaching their colored arms and hands towards the sky to give glory and thanks to their creator.
I kept running and the black eyed susans appeared to me next...their little daisy heads with black centers looking like pupils staring out of a golden eye...their gaze also facing upwards, towards the heavens. Dozens of them all staring up, up, up. And then the golden rod-- rows and rows and rows of it along the side of the road-- the tops of their heads heavy and bowing down. The high grass, the trees, the flowers, the weeds, everything was dancing in graceful movement to the cadence of the winds and their arms were reached out, and their eyes were gazing upwards and their heads were bowing down and I felt so....grateful.
And I thought a bit about the book "One Thousand Gifts" which I just finished (and which I promise to say more about later this week) and how all of these little gifts, all of these incredible things I was grateful for, are gifts from a God who loves us profoundly.
Momentarily I thought about the high school English classes I taught and how we read Walt Whitman's poetry...He too saw a connection between nature and the spiritual. Unfortunately, he seemed to hover over and around this idea of nature and its spiritual inflections, but never landed on the real truth of it all...
We ARE all (along with nature) a part of a greater whole...We are all spiritual creatures who are a part of one incredibly amazing creation...and all together, every rock, and mountain top, and blade of grass, and flower and tree, we find our heads bowed low, our eyes gazing upwards and our arms stretched out almost compulsively in worship to the one who created us.
And then the song...
It might be my new favorite....
Perhaps you have heard it. It is called "How He Loves" by the David Crowder Band. The words of this song have weight...they press upon my heart and remind me how fortunate I am...
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane,
And I started thinking about the image being portrayed here...the steadiness of a tree, the roots that we have in Christ...the way he upholds us in good and bad and the way his love is so powerful that it is almost oppressive...like hurricane winds...able to knock us off of our feet.I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of his love and mercy.
If you have heard it...take a moment to listen again. If you haven't, listen to the words and be moved by a love so great that it presses upon us with hurricane force.
I listend to this song when I came home from church again this morning. I'm not sure what it was-- that I am alone this morning (no kids or husband here) and feeling a bit lonely, that I am tired from a get together I attended last night and was regretting that I did not allow myself to be a brighter light in the midst of a group of people who do not know Jesus very well, or perhaps simply because the rain and the clouds today make me introspective. Whatever the reason...I listened to the words and could do nothing other than bow on my knees in the middle of my living room...
I felt a little silly...I will admit...but the enormity of Christ's love for me was pressing on my so heavily that no other reaction seemed appropriate or palpable.
And for that I am eternally grateful.
Listen to the song. Take a moment to stop and observe creation today, not just as something simply beautiful, but as something that was beautifully created to remind us to move our eyes towards heaven.
It's pretty incredible. And life changing.
"It’s such an extraordinary thing, music. It is how we speak to God finally – or how we don’t. Even if we’re ignoring God. It’s the language of the spirit. If you believe that we contain within our skin and bones a spirit that might last longer than your time breathing in and out – if there is a spirit, music is the thing that wakes it up. And it certainly woke up mine. And it seems to be how we communicate on another level."