I lay in my hotel bed, pen in hand, trying to figure out what I would say.
Where were the words?
Words that would string together the years of prayers and tears, hopes and fears, and give him wings to fly. Words that would slip seamlessly underneath and bear him up when life pulls him down. Words that would echo in his ears, pulling him away from danger when temptations lurk near. Words that would encourage, inspire, warn, guide but most importantly love.
Where were the words?
In just a few short days, I would be returning home without my teen aged son. He would literally be on his own. For the first time in his life. On. His. Own.
Oh, how I wanted to leave him with the right words.
Words that would be a rock to stand on, a pillow to rest on, and a friend to hold close.
As I stood on the brink of a ‘never-before’, I searched for these words.
What words would you have used? What would you have said?
When the words started to flow they wouldn’t stop. Dripping from my heart they filled page after page; there was always something more to share.
But then I paused. This was not the time to waste words.
I reflected on what I had written…
‘I encourage you to always be thankful. Each day is filled with many good gifts; we just sometimes must look for them. Always give God thanks for something… everyday… even on the down days.’
‘Please don’t ever ‘turn your back’ on God…’
‘I’m thankful for Jesus who willingly took on the wrath that I deserved so now I don’t have to. I can live freely – free from fear and happy.’
‘You can always come to me no matter what.’
I looked at the words that had dripped through my fingers and I wondered, ‘Was this all just noise?’
You see, as I lay there writing to my first born, I became acutely aware of the sound our lives make.
As one who professes to follow Christ, is my life-song music to the ears or simply noise?
Do I live my faith out loud? Or does it look like just empty words?
Does my relationship with Christ impact all aspects of my life? My relationships? My goals? My reactions to life’s challenges?
As Christians, when our actions mirror our words of faith, the beautiful authenticity displayed is almost melodic as it gently calls, ‘Come, come meet the One who knows all about me and loves me even so’.
Music to the ears. Pleasing. An invitation to know the transforming power of a relationship with Christ.
But then there is the noise. The grating hypocrisy when sweet-sounding words are betrayed by off-key, rules-based, judgmental actions… actions that cause others to put their hands to their ears and run for cover. Irritating. Harsh. Noise.
I wondered what sound my son heard. From my words? And from my life?
I glanced again at my words on the pages.
How would they be received?
As grace-filled notes of a beautiful melody? Irresistibly compelling? Or wrought meaningless by the disharmony of my off-key actions?
I needed to be careful here. If I listened to the enemy, he would try to convince me that the imperfect harmony of my life plays loud and clear stripping me of my witness.
But I knew the truth. I knew that there was another tune evident in my life. The ever-present, sweet sound of God’s beautiful redemption music.
The tune that keeps beckoning me, that doesn’t stop singing of His love for me no matter how often I wander away. That inspires me to live for Him and to share His love through my song (my words) and my dance (my actions).
'But His favorite song of allIs the song of the redeemed
When those purchased by His bloodLift to Him a song of love'
Phillips, Craig & Dean
It’s a tune that I pray plays above all other sounds in my life.
And one that I pray my son was able to hear in my life and that would resonate in his heart as he reads my words.
What about you?
What sound is playing loudest in your life?
Please don’t fall for the wiles of the enemy;
no matter how imperfect your harmony may be,
remember there is no sweeter sound than a heart turned towards God.