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do you believe?

We were talking about music Sunday night and I asked someone what "did it" for them when they listen to music. Interesting melodies, skillful musicians, fun and danceable - there were many answers. I added that I respond most to music when people believe what they are singing or playing. One can be a mediocre musician but if you believe what you are singing, there is an added element of beauty or power that will blow the most amazing technical but detached performance out of the water.

What is believing? I think it is giving yourself over to something, letting that protective wall down that we all use to shield ourselves from really showing who we are, and stepping into something that one cannot totally quantify. And it is a darn hard thing to do! Some days I do not know if I believe anything. There are days, like today, when I feel mediocre about my life and the tasks in front on me and everything I read and write seems flat and lifeless and the only thing my eyes see is the unchanging dullness all around. Then there are days that I awake with hope in my belly and I leap about, believing that anything is possible, that I have boundless love to give and grace to bestow, and I will burst if I do not sing or write or express that to someone. There are days I say, "I love you," and wonder how I could ever measure up to all that phrase entails and know that the hollowness in my words must be evident to my loved ones. There are times when loving words and deeds bubble forth almost frenetically from my own deep sense of being loved and being lovely.

I do not know why some days I am a doubter and some days a believer, but I do know that I always have a choice. Doubt cannot keep me from walking toward belief, from choosing to stand beside the standard of truth, from struggling with the chains of negative self-absorption refusing to let them strap me in. If I have one prayer, it is that I would live 100% in this day, totally believing every moment that I am alive, not wanting to be anywhere or anyone else. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

This is a barn at a country florist shop down the road.

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