"When darkness comes upon you,
and sleep no longer finds your bed,
remember all the words I said,
Be still, be still, and know..."
Oh my goodness.
The Fray's "Be Still" took me by surprise.
As much as I love this scripture, it was the wholeness of the song itself that stopped me in my tracks tonight. Beautiful, haunting, and honest. It reaches the place in me that identifies with the Psalmist, weeps with "the woman," and begs for another chance to prove my devotion with a contrite Peter.
This message, to "be still, and know," is simple, and profound. It asks me to just show up, and trust. To be consistent, and sincere. To be be quiet, and listen with every molecule of my being. To wait and watch -- without imagining or remembering -- and simply to know.
Last night I was hurting...physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know, I know, in Truth, you can't hurt spiritually. But sometimes it feels otherwise. It can feel as if you have given everything to what you believe is God's purpose for you, and you are spent.
It's a feeling of surrender that goes beyond what you could ever imagine possible, without collapsing in on yourself and imploding. You think you just may have found the point of "thus far and no father," and that there is truly nothing left.
But, it's not true. It's never true. There is always more. There is always infinitely more. The spiritual resources needed to serve our Father faithfully come from a fathomless spiritual well. They can never be depleted. You have them by reflection, not possession. They are the gifts of grace...unearned and inexhaustible.
But I digress. I do that sometimes.
Anyway, back to the song. I don't know The Fray. I don't know anything about the band, their genesis, their music, or the story of how this song came about. I don't need to. What I do know, is that whoever is responsible for this song, knows me.
The Psalmist knows me, the composer knows me, the vocalist knows me. They have to...I can feel it. Every note feels like a friend who's "been there." This feeling of "being known" washed over me in ways that are inexplicable, the first time I heard this song.
As poets, composers, and fellow beings they've come together and reached into the darkness with their music. They've stretched themselves into the chasm of my vulnerability and found my hand. Then reaching, reaching, reaching -- as far down as needed -- they've pulled me up and out of the ego's dank well, into the warm light of God's profound love. By the end of the song I am in the company of angels.
The other day a friend and I were talking. She was telling me how much she longed to "be known." I completely understood. I have been there. And I've always cherished the experience -- as she has -- of feeling known by another person. In some ways, there is nothing so beautiful. There is something quite extraordinary about not having to explain yourself, or apologize for your human idiosyncrasies.
But as wonderful as it is to be in the presence of someone who "gets" you, it's never really going to be enough to satisfy our deepest longings in the middle of the night.
That personal kind of "being known," is dependent on someone else -- an "other." It lives in the warm space of a relationship. It thrives "between" two people.
But, in the middle of the night -- when I most need to know that there is never, ever, going to be a place, a time, or a circumstance that I am truly alone -- I am often by myself. This is when a song, a poem, a scripture or a winged thought can be "a friend of the friendless", "a guardian in the gloom."
For me, there is something almost transcendent about hearing a song that reminds me that there is a deeper sense of being known. A knowing that goes beyond familiarity with the peculiarities of someone's human history, preferences, and personality.
To read a Psalm written by an errant, repentant King and have it drive you to your knees, because you've shared those timeless feelings of regret and penitent hope. To discover that a disciple of "our Lord," was as hungry for mercy as you have been. To feel spiritual sisterhood with a woman whose tears fell in such abundance that they washed her Master's feet.
Tonight, just when I yearned to feel "not so alone" in the darkness, and longing for light, this song reached me. I feel so blessed, and known -- by a Psalmist, a songwriter, a singer, and especially by the Source of their creativity and grace...my Father- Mother God.
And in the knowing and being known, the hurt dissolved -- entirely.
shared with Love...always,