Monday, October 18, 2010

broken into beautiful

As I sit here, looking at the blank page before me, I realize that I have no idea how to write about this topic in a way that will do it justice.  So often when this realization comes to me, I give up, but not today.  I may not be able to write eloquently, but today, I am going to share what is on my heart anyway.

I read a question the other day, on one of my favorite blogs, about how God speaks to us as individuals.  The author of this blog asked her readers to think about the ways that God has spoken to us and the first answer that came to my mind was music.  I have always loved to sing, and even though my best efforts are simply a "joyful noise,"  I still find myself, almost unconsciously, singing the words to a hymn when I am feeling empty and I realize that it is no coincidence that a song just popped into my mind.  It is a gift from my Father, who wants me to focus on Him rather than on my circumstances.  This shouldn't surprise me, the Bible tells me that God hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:3)

Knowing that music is powerful in the lives of many Christians is part of why I enjoy singing in the choir.  Having the opportunity to praise God through song is only part of why I sing.  One of my favorite parts of singing in the choir is getting to see the faces of the congregation while we sing.  Sometimes, you can look at them and know that they aren't just listening to us, they are worshiping the Father with us as we sing.  It has nothing to do with how well we present the song, it is simply that the words resonate with them and point them to the Savior.  We experienced this true worship yesterday morning with a song from our Easter musical, Broken Into Beautiful.  The song was sung by my friend, Amy, with a little ~very little~ help from the choir and it felt as if the congregation was collectively holding their breath while she sang the words that seemed to touch every heart in the sanctuary.

She's smiling on the outside, but she's hurting on the inside,
it's hard just living anymore, and the shadows she has clung to,
painful things that she has been through have left her feeling worthless, Lord.

I have loved this song from the first time I heard it.  We read this woman's story in Luke 7:36-50.  She is the one who anointed Jesus' feet with ointment and wiped them with her hair, but this story is so much more than just a story

It is the reality that has been experienced by every person who has come to the feet of the Savior asking forgiveness and accepting the love He offers. 

The first few times I listened to the song I couldn't help but think of the line the shadows she has clung to, painful things she has been through have left her feeling worthless, Lord ... this is personal, the shadows that I have clung to ... have left me feeling worthless and alone at times and, like the woman in the song, I know how to put on the smile for everyone to see.  Of course, I am not unique and thankfully the story doesn't end with the fake smiles and feelings of failure.

But You change worthless into precious, guilty to forgiven,
hungry into satisfied, empty into full and all the lies are shattered
and we believe we matter when You change broken into beautiful.

Again, I am not unique in my personal connection with this song.  As I looked out over the congregation as Amy sang, I could see that same connection on many of the faces.  I know the story behind some of those faces ... each story is different and yet they are all the same when they are poured out at the feet of Jesus.

We live with accusations, sometimes heavy expectations
that tell us that we can never measure up. 
 And yet You repeat with mercy and in Your eyes we are
worthy, until at last we see how much we're loved.

But You change worthless into precious, guilty to forgiven,
hungry into satisfied, empty into full, and all the lies are shattered
and we believe we matter, when You change broken into beautiful.


I found this video on YouTube if you would like to listen to the song ...
don't forget to pause the blog music!


Felicity said...

I don't know this song, but the words are beautiful!! Any place I can find it? (Youtube??)

Donna said...

Oh, wow, Jennifer! What a precious gift we have been given in being able to have to relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

I love that last part of the song,

"But You change worthless into precious, guilty to forgiven, hungry into satisfied, empty into full, and all the lies are shattered and we believe we matter, when You change broken into beautiful."

Only God could do those miracles! Thank you for sharing!


Jennifer said...

Felicity ... I hadn't thought about there being a video of the song on YouTube, but I found one and added it to the blog post ... thanks for the idea!

Rie said...

Beautiful song, Jennifer. Beautiful words you give us. We often forget how broken and worthless we were before we allowed Him to love us as He planned. We tend to forget we owe everything to Him.

Then we break anew, or are reminded of the old, and there's the cycle of feeling unworthy for a gift we have already been given.

How great is His everything to us.

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Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. I do not know how my brain or heart would make it through a day without song to sing. Hugs. Tammy