Skip to main content

Breathe

There are days when nothing I hear seems totally believable. The words are all inadequate and two-dimensional, lacking the fatness of truth. The situations I encounter seem stilted and detached in some way, as if they were all scripted after the fashion of some forgettable television rerun. Even the air tastes stale and the sunshine is dull and flat.

And then I see a child stare me full in the face without embarrassment, looking to see if I will be their newest friend. The familiar smell of a passing diesel engine reminds me of my father long gone. The random touch of someone I just met laughing at my silly remark makes my skin tingle with the warmth of humanity. I catch the chorus of a new pop song and recognize some familiar longing to be more than the sum of my parts. The taste of my husband's kiss floods my chest with small butterfly sensations. And suddenly I know I am very much alive.

When I find myself sitting in the graveyard of depression, I do not despair, for the very place that reeks of decay also attracts miracles reserved for the desparate. Resurrection is sweet only because I have tasted the powdery insubstantiality of death. Inhale deeply. Breathe deep the breath of God. All else is but dust.

Lazarus...come forth!

Comments

Milton Stanley said…
Matte: This was a beautiful post. Thank you.

I can relate to not despairing in the graveyard of depression. A few years ago I found myself very depressed, and at that point I found down inside a joy that transcends emotion -- the joy that comes from knowing that God loves me.

It's good to see you're feeling alive. May God bless you with the joy of Resurrection on those days when you feel very much bound by the tomb.

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …