Monday, October 15, 2012

International Wave of Light

Today, October 15, is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness's also The Wave of Light. As each timezone around the world marked the arrival of 7:00PM, people have been lighting candles and letting them burn for at least an hour...creating a wave of light around the globe for 24 hours.
For Miranda Evangelene Cole, February 5, 2011, to February 8, 2011
Aside from the glow of my laptop, Miranda's candle is the only light on in my house right now. The music I use to get me through times like this is playing softly through the stereo. These songs have been my lifeline in dark times. These songs speak to me in ways books and the consoling words of a loving community just can't. The music often carries the emotion that mere words struggle to convey.

It's a playlist that too me a long time to assemble. Adding one song at a time as its impact unfolded in my life. I want to share this list of songs with you. You may not like any of them, and that's ok, but they have helped me to just deal with life, too many times to count, and I would hope and pray that they might help someone else, too.

God is God, Steven Curtis Chapman
Blessings, Laura Story
I Can Only Imagine, MercyMe
By Your Side, Tenth Avenue North
Healing Begins, Tenth Avenue North
Homesick, MercyMe
The Hurt & The Healer, MercyMe
Finally Home, MercyMe
In Christ Alone, Owl City
Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus), Chris Rice
I'll Fly Away, Jars of Clay

This is by no means a comprehensive list of songs which speak of grief, loss, the questions that come them, and the hope we have in Christ. I know there are hundreds of songs, if not thousands, that could be included. These are just the ones that have helped me the most over the past year and a half. They speak to the grief and pain of today...but, more importantly, they speak to the joy of that which is yet to come, the Hope of The Resurrection.

Tonight, my candle burns bright for my lil' Shrimp, Miranda Evangelene, and for all those who have lost an infant. We are not alone...their memories will burn in our hearts forever.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's a Hard Life (Wherever You Go)

It's a hard life, it's a hard life
It's a very hard life
It's a hard life wherever you go
If we poison our children with hatred
Then, the hard life is all that they'll know

I'll be honest...I hate this season. No, not the weather.

Election season.

The rhetoric, the poison, the lying, the fact checking, the deception, delusion, and intimidation. If there's truth to be found in any of's hard to find.

I was listening to a playlist of my favorite Christian songs and Jackson Finch's cover of It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go came on. I realize the song deals primarily with racism, religious intolerance, and other forms of hate...but all I could think about was politics. It just feels like we've become a culture that runs our elections with hate. The Republicans despise the Democrats. The Democrats hate the Republicans. The name calling, hyperbole, and sharing of distorted truths are miserable to watch...and it's not just the politicians participating. It feels like we have descended to a state where the "winner takes all" attitude is the pervasive mindset...which really means we all lose because the winner gets to ignore the 49% of the people who didn't vote for them...and we're passing this mindset along to the children who watch the adults as they go through this process. What hope do we have if we just teach them to pick a side and hold fast with blind devotion?

The process seems grey, bleak, and desolate to's missing something I've really been spending a lot of time thinking about and looking for in the recent past...LOVE. There is no love in politics. There is no turning the other cheek. The concept that I can choose to put others before myself has no place in politics. It's depressing...disgusting. I can't wait for November 7...because maybe there just isn't room for love when it comes to electing the people who "represent" us.

After all, love isn't easy. Love takes work. Love isn't what comes naturally. Love is hard...and I'm preaching to the choir here. I'm really struggling with love...struggling in the spirit of Romans 7:15-24. I have people in my life that I'm finding it really difficult to love. I think about them...then I think about what I'm supposed to think about them...then I look up at the sky and I shout, "ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?! I CAN NOT BE EXPECTED TO LOVE THESE PEOPLE!"


If I struggle with this in my own life, it's probably too much to ask my politicians to approach their job with it.