Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fires and Songs

Today is an anniversary - one that's very significant, almost miraculous, to me. One year ago today, I sat at my dining room table and scribbled words on a page. Then a tune came out as I sang the words into my phone's voice recording app. Later in the day, I sat at a keyboard and pounded out chords until they fit the melody, with much more scribbling, erasing (I ALWAYS work in pencil!) and recording.

That very evening, I had the audacity to announce to my worship team leader that I'd written a song, and the even greater audacity (with much fear and trembling) to let him hear it. A few days later, I sat at that same keyboard and timidly offered my song to Jesus in the presence of a (very gracious) congregation. My very first song was born. (So, if you want to get technical, it's actually a birthday I'm celebrating...)

That one little song unplugged a previously-unsuspected but much-desired fountain in my soul, and I went on to write over forty more songs in the following six weeks. Some were pretty good, others... not-so-much. But each one expressed a little piece of my heart and brought me great joy.

But after that, the fountain seemed to dry up. Or more accurately, life got in the way and I neglected to let it flow...

...until about a week ago. I was sitting on my backyard swing, enjoying a little break from the hustle and bustle of managing a home, delighting in the cool breeze and bursting buds on the trees. I got to thinking about how we needed rain, and how wonderful it would be to have some big, fat raindrops pour down. All of a sudden, a whole verse and chorus of a new song came to mind, and I got out my phone and typed it out:

My soul craves You, Lord
In this dry and weary land
Only You can slake this burning thirst
My soul is parched and cracked
As I travel this long road
Only You can make these dark clouds burst

Pour out Your love, pour out Your grace
Soak us in mercy, come drench this place
Pour out Your healing, pour out Your peace
Let these dark clouds burst and release
Pour out

I worked with it a bit more that evening, coming up with another couple of verses and a melody, then left it for a few days. I sat with the lyrics again today. They conveyed an entirely different flavour. 

In light of the tragically devastating situation in Fort McMurray these past few days (massive, out-of-control forest fires have destroyed much of the northern Alberta city and forced complete evacuation of some eighty thousand people - for the information of my international readers), these quickly-penned lyrics now seem eerily prophetic. 

As a country, we've been praying for rain. That seems like the most expedient, logical way to bring this horrific nightmare to some kind of end. And we continue to pray.

But what an incredible outpouring of love and grace and mercy! It is simply astounding, the thousands of acts of generosity and offers of hospitality and demonstrations of selflessness that have flooded, soaked, drenched the landscape of northern Alberta in the last three days. And where there is love, there is God, smack-dab in the middle of it all. Pouring out His boundless love through those who aren't even aware of it. 

Isn't that just like God? Such beautiful, bountiful grace.

{And anyone, anywhere can join in the grace-fest! Visit}

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