Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Thursday, December 15, 2005

An Answered Prayer

The past week has bee a crazy blur of papers and hebrew vocabulary. I've told you the details but that's about it. Although some things have been entirely too crazy, there's also been so much beauty in little moments and songs, and it happens more often and faster than I can write about it. But writing about it is exaclty what I need to do because I too do not want to forget.

Hearing David Wilcox live was an experience I will not soon forget. He is a poet, and I am learning to appreciate those with the poetic gift more and more. I've known this for awhile. I've been listening to him off and on since college via Josh. He says that Wilcox is better with metaphor than anyone around. It's probably true.

I can't tell you about every song he sang and how each one spoke to me, but I can tell you that they did. It felt like church in a lounge with adult beverages, and I loved it. Yes, I know three years ago, I would have never dreamed of saying such a thing. No, Truett and my "emerging church" have not corrupted me. If anything, my experience these past three years has helped me to love life more than ever before. It has helped me look for holy moments beyond the four walls of a church, and I have found plenty of them. My favorite song of the evening was about this very idea.

Peter Mayer actually wrote the song "Holy Now", and thank God Wilcox borrowed it from him. (I guess I'll have to share some of David's lyrics another time.) Anyways, Mayer was in catholic seminary studying for the priesthood. His life took a change of course, and he became a singer song writer. The song lets me know he would have made an amazing priest, but I am glad he's making music instead. This song struck a cord deep within me. After it was over, I turned to Josh and said, "this is so us." (us meaning UBC) . Tell me what you think.

Holy Now

When I was a boy, each week
On Sunday, we would go to church
And pay attention to the priest
As he would read the Holy Word.
And consecrate the holy bread
And everyone would kneel and bow
Today the only difference is
Everything is holy now.

Everything, everything,
Everything is holy now . . .

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad that miracles don't happen still
But now I can't keep track
'Cause everything's a miracle

Everything, everything
Everything's a miracle . . .

Wine into water is not so small,
but an even better magic trick
is that anything is here at all.
So, the challenging thing becomes not to look for miracles,
but finding where there isn't one.

When holy water was rare at best
I barely wet my finger tips.
Now I have to hold my breath
like I'm swimming in a sea of it.

It used to be a world half there
heaven's second rate hand me downs
but I'm walking with a reverent air
cause everything's holy now.

Read a questioning child's face,to say it's not a testament,
now that'd be very hard to say.
To see another new morning come,
to say it's not a sacrament,
I tell you that it can't be done.

This morning outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush
Singing like a scripture verse
It made me want to bow my head
and I remember when church let out
how things have changed since then,
everything is holy now.

It used to be a world half there,
heaven's second rate hand me downs.
I'm walking with a reverent air
cause everything's holy now.

I sat in the dark with David's guitar glaring in my eyes, and I cried silently. Every week, Kyle prayed for us. He prayed that we would embrace beauty. Listening to that song, I realized that God answered his prayer in my life because now I see beauty everywhere. I'm not sure I ever cared to look for it very much before, but now it overwhelms me, and I love God all the more for it. I always liked that prayer and now it means more than ever.


Blogger Michael said...

that's absolutely beautiful Janalee.....thank you, I needed that right now. When do you finish Truett? Not before Kristin and I head back, I hope. See you soon...

11:27 PM  
Blogger Janalee said...

I have my mentoring this summer, and then I'll be finished. Yikes. I am taking suggesting on where to go and who to work with. Let me know what you think.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Myles said...

jealous about Wilcox. i was supposed to go to the Austin show, but thanks to Austin freaking out over ice, the show got canned and i couldn't make the makeup show.

8:45 PM  

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