Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I'm Listening to...Wednesday

Sometimes when I can't hear God speaking, I hear him sing over me.  Sometimes I have a hard time putting into words what my heart is saying.  So I sing to him words others have sang to him before.  Sometimes I hurt for the world and become numb to the stories on the news.  And it takes somber songs to help me feel again. 

Just to give you a peek into my day at is what it looks like.  Our school has 5 classes a day.  When I don't have paperwork stacked up to my neck...which is the case most is what my schedule is supposed to look like:
1st Block-I go into an English 10 or English 11 classroom, and provide a helping hand to students who need a little extra time.
2nd Block-Sometimes English 11 and sometimes working on paperwork in my classroom.  This is a classroom that is shared with another teacher.  She teaches 10 students an online math course.  So this paperwork I have to complete must be completed with 10 restless chatty teenagers in my room. 
3rd Block-I teach a reading and writing intervention class.  However, oftentimes this becomes a homework help session.  Frequently, my lessons are replaced with another teacher's lesson.  But hey, they have to pass their other classes too.
4th Block-This is my "planning" block.  Most days, other teachers send their students my way during this time to read their tests to them.  This is part of my job, so no complaints here.  Somewhere during this block I also have to find time to eat.  Most of the time this is bites between test questions. 
5th Block-English 10...helping out the teachers and kiddos.

Second block on paperwork days is my time to drown out the noise (and the students' not so quiet voices of not so pleasant conversations).  So I flip on my Jesus station on Pandora and let it pick what song I want to hear.  But today I had a feeling it was God picking my songs, not some random computer program.

The first song that caught my attention was "This, Too Shall Be Made Right" by Derek Webb
I recently wrote another blog post about this song, but up it popped again.  If you would like to read that post, click here.

"People love you the most for the things you hate
And hate you for loving the things you can't keep straight
People judge you on a curve
And tell you you're getting what you deserve
And this too shall be made right

Children cannot learn when children cannot eat
Stack them like lumber when children cannot sleep
Children dream of wishing wells
Who's waters quench all the fires of hell
And this too shall be made right

The earth and the sky and the sea are all holding their breath
Wars and abuses have nature growing with death
You say we're just trying to stay alive
It looks so much more like a way to die

And this too shall be made right

Yes, there's a time for peace, there is a time for war
There's a time to forgive and a time to settle the score
A time for babies to lose their lives
A time for hunger and genocide
And this too shall be made right

Oh, I don't know the sufferings of people outside my front door
And I join the oppressors of those I choose to ignore
I'm trading comfort for human life
And that's not just murder, it's suicide
And this too shall be made right"

This hit way too close to home.  It seems that this world of darkness and hate and pain are closing in.  They are getting way too close to home.  I try not to watch the news.  I know, as a teacher, I should stay up to date on current events.  I could really care less.  I would rather tuck my head in my turtle shell and stay in my happy bubble with my amazing husband who I adore and adores me,
and our entertaining "why"-asking two-year-old,
 and our newly-giggling three-month-old.

 But despite the fact that I rarely turn on the evening news, I know...
-Twenty men were arrested in Chattanooga for involvement in child sex trafficking.
-Gang violence in downtown Chattanooga has increased to the point that the Chattanooga Times Free Press has created a database of individuals murdered there since 2011.  And all that people seem to be focusing on is the fact that Mohammed Abdulazeez found his way on to that list.  He is on a list of "justified murders."  I am pretty sure murder isn't the right word for that situation, but people seem to be missing the point.  That list is HUGE...currently at 113, with 22 of the murders happening just in the last 10 months!  That's the point.  The point is that we should shed tears over the massive number of lives lost, most at the hands of gang violence.
-An unidentified body was found in my town.
-There was a shooter at the little league park in my hometown where my little brother used to play baseball.
-School shootings are STILL happening.
-College sports recruiters are paying for strippers and sex for recruits to help draw potential athletes to their program.
-Smoking, that had recently become less widespread, has become more popular and excepted among a whole new generation of teenagers.
-Drugs are rampant.

Then came the song "Wedding Dress," also by Derek Webb.  This song was written to his maker.
If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift your life
           God gave his life as our wedding gift.  It doesn't get much better than that.
Should that be all Ill ever need
Or is there more I'm looking for
And should I read between the lines
And look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich and wise
Is that really what you want
'Cause I am a whore, I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle
Or Im a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you
          That's what we do, I guess I can only speak for myself. That's what I do.  I am so excited be his bride. I can't wait to get down the aisle and jump into his arms.  I am excited to be his.  Then I turn to other lovers.  My eyes stray and my feet wander.  I lose my way.  Then I throw on my white dress (it's white because he washed it) and run to him again.
So could you love this bastard child
          And each time I run to him, I run to him slower.  I go to him ashamed.  I am weighted down by my sin and think, "how could he still love me?"  But he does.  And he marries me all over again.  We were never divorced.  But in my heart I feel that way.  So we renew our vows.  He makes the same unbroken promises all over again.  And I make promises we both know I will break. 
Though I dont trust you to provide
          He always provides.  But I still get scared.
 With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side
'Cause I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers so less wild
          I get content with the beautiful earthly things he has given me and forget the masterpiece I can find in him.
But money cannot buy
A husbands jealous eye
          "He is jealous for me.  His love's like a hurricane.  I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his love and mercy."  I want to run down the aisle and not let go of his hand.  It's not quite as easy as it sounds.

Both these songs were heavy.  Bittersweet.  Honest.  Raw.

And God knew what I needed when the next two songs came on..."My Beloved," by Kari Jobe.
You're my beloved, you're my bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love
Under my mercy come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you my child
          He thinks I'm perfect just the way I am.
You're beautiful to me
So beautiful to me
I sing over you my song of peace
          First he played me songs that left me with pain and bitterness and shame and fear and sadness.  Then he SANG OVER me his song of PEACE.  He played in like a lion and serenaded out like a lamb.
Cast all your care down at my feet
Come and find your rest in me
I'll breathe my life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of my strength
I'll take you to my quiet waters
 I'll restore your soul
Come rest in me and be made whole
You're my beloved, you're my bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love
First he sang to me truth, then he revealed to me my sin, then he sang over me peace and forgiveness and love, then he danced with me...the dance in the kitchen in your socks kind of dance.
At the end of the block my students got to see me with headphones stuck in my ears rocking out to this Jesus song...this time I was smiling.  "Lay Em Down," by Needtobreathe
Come down to the river
Come and let yourself in
Make good on a promise
To never hurt again
If you're lost and lonely
You're broken down
Bring all of your troubles
Come lay 'em down
All you sinners
And the weak at heart
All you helpless
On the boulevard
Wherever you are now
Whatever evil you've found
Bring all of your troubles
come lay 'em down
We're all tied to the same old failings
Finding shelter in things we know
We're all dirty like corrupted small towns
Bring our troubles
Bring our troubles
And Lay 'em down
All you rich men
And the high above
All those with and without love
All you burdened, broken down
Bring all of your troubles
Come lay 'em down
Thank Jesus for speaking to me through my headphones this morning.

I'm laying em down.

1 comment :

  1. I used to be crazy about Caedmons Call, and Derek Webb was my favorite vocalist and songwriter in the group. I was so excited to finally see them in concert when I was in college....only to find out that night he'd left the band over "creative differences." And after that I was all about his solo work, I think he is a brilliant songwriter, though admittedly I haven't listened to him in years.