It took me about three seconds to determine the direction I would take for this week’s Five Minute Friday.
The prompt is STILL and I was immediately drawn to Psalm 46:10 — Be still and know that I am God. More specifically, I recalled the song Be Still by the Celebrant Singers. And, if I am able to navigate transferring media, I hope to share it with you.
But before we get too far, you have to know some background.
If you’ve been following my posts, you know Five Minute Friday is an exercise where hundreds of bloggers collect their thoughts on the prompt word then meet up at Kate’s place (http://katemotaung.com/2014/11/13/five-minute-friday-still/) to share our efforts and encourage each other. I have to tell you, some of the work that shows up is absolutely inspiring. Just think of a couple of hundred people expressing themselves, each coming from a different place with their own experiences shared in personal testimony through narratives, poetry and prose. It gives you a whole new perspective … all through one single, solitary word.
The Celebrant Singers’ version of Be Still has a very special place in my heart. I had heard it dozens of times, but it never really resonated until I heard it in the aftermath of Karen’s death. It became my mantra in those long, lonely days and empty nights after the kids went home and things started “quieting” down. Numbness set it. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t want to go out of the house and I didn’t want to stay there. I thought I was losing my mind.
Fortunately, my faith kicked in … and kicked me into proactive action.
I recognized I needed help. I was floundering on my own and needed a fresh perspective. By happenstance — is there ever really happenstance? — there was an ad announcing a bereavement support group just starting through the spiritual care department at a local hospital. I had opportunities for grief counseling in the county, but I knew so many people. I just didn’t want to expose myself to people I knew.
When I walked into the chapel for the meeting, I still wasn’t really sure this was the right route to go. But when I looked around and saw the grief on my fellow travelers’ faces and heard Gail’s reassuring voice, I knew I was among friends.
It was painful. I was the rookie of the group — the youngest and the most recently widowed. I allowed the others to step up as I quietly listened. One woman nursed her husband for years battling cancer. Another lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. A woman and her daughter lost a son and brother to suicide. A man came home from work and found his wife dead at the bottom of the stairs. When it was my turn, I offered my tale of woe and, like the others before me, through plenty of tears.
But as I drove home, it dawned on me I was blessed. I had a chance to say goodbye and I knew Karen didn’t suffer long.
Gail kept us on track, touching raw nerves and helping us understand the chaotic emotions we were going through. I was listening to the Celebrant Singers CD on the way home that first night. The opening lyrics of Be Still are “You’re asking me to tell you how I feel. Well, there’s an ache inside, I don’t think it will heal. But when hope is hard to see, I hear you say to me, ‘Be still and know that I am God’…” By the end of the six weeks, I could focus on the closing lyrics, “…You’re asking me to tell you how I feel. Well, there’s an ache inside, But I think it will heal. ’Cause when hope is hard to see, I hear you say to me, ‘Be still and know that I am God’…”
Over the years, whenever I feel myself spinning out of control, I remember those words from Psalm 46:10.
The song is about five minutes … so it’s my contribution this week. May it console you as it has consoled me. You have to click on the link and it takes a little while to load, but I think you’ll enjoy it. START
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: I believe in spite of the pain, in spite of the adversity, I’m still in the game. God is going to make the rest of my life the best of my life.