Why we must sing

Into yesterday’s questions, yesterday’s glimpse of poverty and inability to praise, God speaks through a woman who has asked the same questions.

“I know there is poor and hideous suffering and I’ve seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. But I have lived pain and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of peonies in June and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.

How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is Joy Who saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does.

The brave who focus on all things good and all things beauty and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to the all the world.”

Ann Voscamp ~One Thousand Gifts, A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

And so today I give thanks. I still feel the pain of yesterday’s sidewalk-dwelling fellow image-bearers. But it doesn’t stop me from praising. It makes it all the more essential that I do.

Today I celebrate the God of the impossible. The God who is able to do more than we ask or imagine. The One who stepped into the pain and felt it himself so he could exchange despair for hope.

This is the Extravagant Giver who does not stop at essentials but pours out blessing upon blessing, a whole sky-full of one lavish canvas after another, the show changing every moment for more than an hour.

And I sing because he is not oblivious to the state of the world. He weeps with the poor. But he knows that evil will not have the last word. Love will. And so he paints beauty and declares hope and shouts his love and I must too.

So I sing to this Lavish Lover who calls us to give and then gives it all back and tells us to use it to host a party with him and the poor at the center.

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. (Deuteronomy 14:22-27)

I sing because nothing is too hard for him, and one day all that is wrong will be set right and there will be no more tears or sorrow or homelessness.

More of the endless gifts:

Never ending Love-paintings in the sky

Faithfulness new every morning

Hope in the darkest of places

Hearts that can hurt and heal and beat with His heartbeat

Being called to share his life

The promise that all will be made new.

holy experience