At the time of this writing I am on vacation … a much deserved break, and an unexpected blessing for me and my adult children (and their families). We are all staying together in a beautiful log cabin rental in Trenton ME (just mainland from Desert Mountain Island – home of Acadia National Park). It is BE-U-TIFUL here, and this simple snapshot from the back deck just doesn’t do justice to the view nor peacefulness of the home. After such hardships on my last job, and then all the excitement of starting my own business – this time of ‘decompression’ is a delightful balm to my soul and has given bandwidth/margin for my creative juices to start flowing again.
So while grandkids get their tubbies, and their daddies take charge of the BBQ, I stepped upstairs to work on the ‘vacation puzzle’. We are 4 days into a 7 day vacation and it is about 2/3 complete. (Don’t be overly impressed – it’s only a 500 piece puzzle, and so far, it is kicking our can’s … but I am hopeful we will win this challenge before the vacation is over!) Anyways, while working on it, I started singing a familiar song I used to sing to my daughters as a lullaby at night. Maybe you heard of it …. “Songbird” made famous by Barbara Streisand? Gosh, I have always loved her artistry, and this was such a hauntingly beautiful melody in it’s time, and a much requested ‘goodnight song’ from my daughters even into their early teenage years. But as they became mothers themselves, one of my girls commented on the actual lyrics of the song … something to the effect “geez … it’s a really depressing song, mom”.
And here I am again, singing it on a family vacation?? Of course, now I am singing it primarily because I think it is a beautiful song. But there is also a place in my heart that is comforted by the song because it reminds me of days gone by – those difficult and heartbreaking days when I grieved a broken marriage, and was learning what life would be like as a single parent. Back then, even as I sang the song as a soothing nighttime lullaby to my girls, the lyrics brought a ‘secret comfort’ to my own heart – and singing of the unfulfilled loneliness of the songbird was rather like making a silent admission of my own pain and sorrow (behind the brave face I put on for my children).
When I’ m all alone
I sing my saddest song
Lonely, and no one can see
This time the song is for me
Thankfully, those days are long behind me now and as I consider the lyrics of the song from my ‘2014 log cabin vantage point’, I am now reminded of this scripture:
Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. No one can share them with you. (Proverbs 14:10)
And in the same way that someone might struggle to understand the familiar comfort of such a sad song (even decades after the tears of sorrow have been transformed into tears of great joy!), I think that too often I have been too quick to dismiss someone else’s pain because from my vantage point – they are just making too much of this or that. [Yuck! What a horrid admission to make. But it is true].
But who am I to judge?
WHO ELSE CAN KNOW (besides Jesus) the bitterness or depth of pain experienced by another heart?
Lord, help me be more tolerant of others pain! Empower me be gracious and show your love! Help me extend mercy and walk with them through the process of healing, without becoming impatient if they don’t heal as quickly as I think they ought to. [again – yuck!].
Well, that’s about as much self examination and yucky admissions as I can take today. I will close with this quote from my most favorite blogger in the entire world … who also happens to be my daughter!
Life is a dare to love, everyone” (from her blog “Life Is A Dare“) http://www.lifeisadare.com
Goodnight and be blessed,