Thursday, January 20, 2011

There is a Balm...

Yesterday, feeling very low after reading the highly recommended Mary Beth Chapman book about her 5-year old's death, I went to the piano to play hymns. Not as proficient as my mother at the keyboard, I search for hymns with easy chords and very few flats or sharps.

After playing several, I found a familiar song my father used to sing for church specials. I can still hear his clear baritone voice slide over the notes of "There is a Balm in Gilead," a traditional Spiritual.

As a child, I always thought Dad was singing, "There is a bomb in Gilead." I wondered how a bomb could make the wounded whole or heal the sin-sick soul?

Now as I played the tune, I noticed how much more significant those words are to me today. "Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work's in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. If you can't preach like Peter, If you can't pray like Paul, Just tell the love of Jesus, and say He died for all. There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul."

Just tell the love of Jesus; the Spirit takes care of the rest. That was the focus of Mary Chapman's book, that even in the darkest of any mother's storms, Jesus still stands with us, loving us, understanding us, waiting for us.

In a way, Jesus was a bomb for humanity. He exploded man's ideas of salvation, love, and of God. He took apart man's ideas and transformed him through servitude. At the same time, Jesus offers love and help and guidance and most importantly, relationship after tearing apart our preconceived notions of what God is or should be.

To those women who recommend the book, thanks. It was very difficult and emotional, but I understand why you thought I should read it. I am glad we recognize that in this tough life, Jesus is our heart's balm. The author repeats that even through her pain, doubts, suffering. Some days are good; some moments are good, and some are just awful. It is raw honesty, yet she clings to God's love, God's balm. May we do the same as we encounter life's hardships on this side of heaven.

For His Glory...

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