This incredible picture of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights was taken by Bob King, a photographer from Duluth.
Here is a message I presented in October 2007 to a large group in a ‘recovery’ church, less than a week after a tree fell on my shoulder while playing lumberjack in the woods. I was high on pain-killers and had my arm in a sling. Two of my young adult children joined me on harmonies and guitar.
“Look at six eggs in a mockingbird’s nest
Listen to six mockingbirds flinging follies of o-be-joyful over the marshes and uplands
Look at songs hidden in eggs.”
Tonight, I come before you with my unique part to play, my song to sing. Last month, I finished recording a CD, my first recording for grownups in over 25 years. My songs have long been hidden in eggs.
I wanted to come to you, full strength, with my rockin’ guitar playing and my voice in fine form. Instead, here I am at about 60% of my emotional and physical strength, with a broken wing, and under doctor’s orders not to play guitar. So as I’m setting out to fly in support of this record, I’m going to need a little help from my children Erin and Charlie and my friend Greg on piano tonight…and mostly a lift from God.
We know that the hardships and trials we each must overcome to ‘sing our songs’-to live our lives wholly-is an inner work of the soul and it is a lifelong process of courageous partnering with God’s transforming work in our lives.
There are many dangers and snares along the way, aren’t there?
Our souls are ‘mortally wounded’ because of the Fall. As we grow up in our family nest and as we learn to fly, it is certain that the enemies of our soul and the snares and beatings of pride and shame will come upon us to try to thwart every new attempt to sing in freedom of spirit.
It is my conviction that the hard work of surrender and healing—to allow the work of God in our lives—to tend to the sufferings, disappointments and grief–will bring us the freedom and humility we so desire.
This is the most important work we choose do in our lives.
The challenge for each of us is to fully sing our song, to speak our truth, to share the love of God. But it is my experience that the deeper we go in this journey, the more fierce some of these battles can get.
I’m convinced the most important work you can do is to peck through the hard shell that keeps you from the freedom that is ours in Christ, to persist and persevere to fully sing your unique song, because only you can play that part. We need you to sing your song and play your part as a child of God. And do not believe the lies of the enemy who wants to take you down.
Do not live in the house of fear, beloved, but live in the house of love.
'songs hidden in eggs' is the name of my album. The songs are pictures of my own intense and prolonged journey to find my voice and sing my song. I am here today, by the grace of God, to encourage you to sing your song, to own your own life. As Parker Palmer says: “Let your life speak.”
That night, I said quite a few other things extemporaneously and freely. I sang several songs, including the one you are listening to: House of Love. I know I talked about how thrilled I was to have my young adult children singing beside me, their beautiful harmonies and humble confidence a testimony to God’s loving kindness. I remember feeling very proud of them and of course, this is another blog entry for the coming days.
I closed my talk with words from the lovely soul of Henri Nouwen:
“God has called you to speak the Word to the world and to speak it fearlessly. While acknowledging your wounded-ness, do not let go of the truth that lives in you and demands to be spoken.”