My sister, Patty was a fiend for the Beatles. She even got me to listen and memorize most of their songs (very worth doing) and the trivia that went along with them. The first album that we played over and over again was the one everyone calls "The White Album", simply because of its color and nondescript title: "The Beatles".
On this album was a song as simple as it was mesmerizing: Blackbird. The song was recorded by Paul in Apple Studios, their new place to mix their own recordings. It is an acoustic guitar track that is punctuated by Paul tapping his feet. Since I played the guitar, it was something I tried to duplicate. It didn't quite work.
Tonight, I remember the song without the words. I remember it for its beauty - its tenderness and perfection. Paul (by now an artist on the guitar) plays the song so soulfully it can't be reproduced by someone for the sake of imitation. It appears to come from deep in the heart.
Click here if you want to hear the song on youtube
Tonight, as I sing it, though, I am distracted by the words. "Take these broken wings and learn to fly; All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise..." I sing, enchanted by memories and distracted by lyrics. The memories of learning the song in my bedroom with a guitar on my lap, and the phonograph needle picked up and moved back a thousand times... doesn't mesh with the words.
Instead, the words sing of today - my broken heart and my desire to fly back - at least for a little while. Our family back in the U.S.A. has been going through a particularly tough season, and we are separated by so many miles. While I wait on God (the restorer of my heart and soul), I yearn and ache to be with family.
Instead of me, Mario is the one to fly home on Virgin Atlantic tonight. If only for a short while, he'll be the one to reconnect, hug and touch those I miss so deeply in my heart.
For the sake of simplicity and privacy, I can't share what everyone is going through: all of it is painful, but it isn't mine to share. I can say that in a series of unfortunate and unrelated events, we see separate members of our family hit by devastating changes which come along with a lot of tears we have shared together, over the phone, through e-mails and on SKYPE.
We were scheduled to attend the National Elders Conference in our beloved Pietermaritzburg tomorrow, but since Mario isn't here, I've chosen to stay home. The once a year event is held to catch up with friends, soak deeply in what God is doing here, and network with others who are in the ministry of loving and serving others with God's love. I can imagine bumping into friends who ask how we're doing, how it's going...where is Mario...and it would all be too much for me. Tonight I am alone in my house, save my two miniature Pinchers that think I'm perfect.
During this time of such heart-felt sorrow and disconnection, tonight I said goodbye to the the love of my life for eleven days. I'll miss him, and maybe be a bit unbalanced, lacking the strong reason Mario brings to all of my mind-chatter. He also is my prayer partner, my lover, the one who sees the scared, tender girl beyond the outwardly together woman who can seem fine to everyone else. I plan on a lot of exercise and a lot of prayer until Mario gets home. Tonight I had... a lot of McDonald's.
Kind of anti-productive, but comforting.
My hope, as I have said (truthfully) a million times before is found in Christ alone. He is the only light, the only strength, the only song I can sing in this much sorrow. How do people survive without Him?? He is my comforter, my all-in-all.
Tonight, "Blackbird" takes me back...way back!! Still... tonight, my meditation can't be in sorrow. It has to be on belonging to Someone who is the only One who knows all I go through in the deepest part of my heart.
He is the One who loves me.
My song of meditation has to be on Jesus - click here if you want to see it.