There is this song I love,
Hallelujah. (this is my favorite version)
You probably know all the words, too.
It played from my speakers recently as I drove, and I hit repeat on my phone each time it ended.
The song always feels troubled and beautiful to me all at once.
And I've heard it dozens of times.
But it got all the way into my bones and heart that day.
And then I knew why.
From the single line:
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold
It's a broken
I think I will look back on this year as my broken Hallelujah year.
1. Praise ye the Lord!
2. a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude
I've spent so much of my time trying to put my thumb on God.
Pin Him to what I think He must be.
Just hold Him steady for a minute to get a good, clear look~
But the more I've squirmed and shifted and adjusted,
The more mystery He looks like.
And there is less and less of what I imagine Him to be
And more and more of Him inviting me into a dance.
The kind in the movies where the camera spins and
Everything is blurry and good and lovely.
A movie-dance where the girl is holding desperately onto Someone,
But her eyes are closed and
Her head is back
And she is laughing.
Nothing is very clear,
But everything is right.
I don't like to dance.
I'm actually terrible at it.
And completely awkward...
The kind of awkward where I really feel the need to shove my weird arms down into pockets.
Because pockets are an awkward girl's best friend.
It just feels lately like I've been spinning and
My hallelujah feels broken.
Because I'd prefer to see my Dance Partner for everything He is.
Know His next move.
See the big picture, all the way zoomed out.
But that isn't the dance I've been invited into,
And that makes my
My praise song,
But I keep uttering it anyway.
Even if all I'm seeing are glimpses into
What I search for.
One of the best paragraphs I've read in a very long time is from
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (by Donald Miller):
'The next day, when I was walking with my cousin Carol, she asked me where I thought my uncle was. She knew he was in heaven, but she wanted me to tell her what I thought he might be doing, what heaven was like. I told her I thought heaven was outside of time, and perhaps we were already there with her father. She seemed to think that was nice, but I could tell she wasn't comforted. And later that night I pictured Uncle Art, and I could see him in heaven, and he was sitting at a table and there was a celebration. There was dancing and bottles of wine, and there was music. I could see him at a wedding, and I realized that's what I should have told Carol, that her dad was at a wedding.'
I am a figure-it-out-person.
I liked word problems in math class.
Which is probably in some way tied to my awkward dancing and need for deep pockets,
I like learning.
And most of all, getting the right answer.
But for all the reading and thinking and all-out-nerding-it-up that I do,
I learn the most about God
At the table.
Surrounded by friends who somewhere along the way morphed into family.
Food, beer, laughter, strings of lights, way-too-loud kids, inside jokes...
It all feels a bit of familiar heaven.
Like I am totally sitting at a table in heaven, outside of time and space,
Yelling back to my awkward-ass earth self,
This. Is. It.
It is all in the glimpses
And the fleeting, but perfect moments.
It really is a Wind in my soul.
And I see it, if just for a second.
This is what matters.
This is what I am created for.
So even if I feel less than settled in
My theology at times,
Even if I feel dizzy
And all my straight lines get blurred
And all the black and white turn into shades of a thousand colors,
(Because I assumed somewhere along the way my Creator could be solved like a word problem),
My Hallelujahs are still whispered,
Broken as they are.
Because His love is not something I win.
It will never be a victory I claim.
It is an invitation.
To learn more.
To know, for certain, less.
To eat and laugh and love others
Around a table
Or a borrowed firepit.
Sitting on blankets and beach chairs.
I think my broken Hallelujahs
Have led me closer to the wedding feast.