Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Okay is the hardest thing.

I am going to admit something right now that is very difficult for me, as a man, to admit: there is a song (just one) that has an unfailing, almost inescapable ability to make me almost cry. Alright, so it wasn't that difficult to admit. It doesn't sound like much, but it actually means a lot, and there's not a single other song in the world that can claim anywhere near as much. The reason this particular song has that ability is that it cuts straight to the heart of who I am, what I have struggled with, and what I continue to struggle with, and it proves that the simplest (and most Right) answer of all is the hardest one to give.

The song is called "Hands in the Air," and it's by a band called The Waiting. The lyrics are below. If you could hear the music while you read the words, you would know that it is being sung by a man whose heart has been completely broken and defeated by his attempts to live apart from God, as he tries to learn the beauty of submission.


Hands in the Air

If I raise my hands just to lift the shade,
Will I reveal a sky heavy and gray?
Will last night be a memory sweetly fading?
How I hate a morning starting out this way.
On these lonely raging mornings I would whip you if I could,
But You're on the mighty side of strong and the perfect side of good.

If I raise my hands will you grab me by the wrists
And will you try to pull me from the fray?
And even if my fingers join together into fists
Will you hold me firmly anyway?
'Cause I would try to escape you but for everyday I'm sure
That You're on the huge side of big and the holy side of pure.

Okay, hear what I say
As I raise my hands and surrender today.
Okay, here I will stay
Hands in the air, singing have Thine own way.

If I raise my hands, so weak and thin and frail,
Will you reveal the light of mercy in your eyes?
If I cry to you faintly will my feeble whispers fail,
Or will it find its way to a reply?
Beause now that I'm exhausted I think I'm ready to admit
That I have spent all my resistance on someone I can't resist.

Okay, hear what I say
As I raise my hands, in surrender today.
Okay, here I will stay
Hands in the air singing have Thine own way.

Light from my window sill, make my way to the door
I hang my head and still I know you're wanting more
Over the threshold now, I move across the yard
Although my will allows, my every step is hard
Now in the garden I carve out six feet of space
There make my will comply, lie down upon my face
Been toe to toe too long, I'm tired of fighting You
I see You were too strong, 'cause I am black and blue
But now I understand what losers do to win
How every dying man is sure to rise again
So I raise my left hand, one, I raise my right hand, two
Under the morning sun, my spirit cries to You.

Okay, hear what I say
As I raise my hands in surrender today.
Right here under the sun,
Hands in the air singing Thy will be done.
I'm here under the sun,
Hands in the air singing Thy will be done.
Okay, here I will stay,
Hands in the air, singing have Thine own way.
Have thine own way.



Words like "And even if my fingers join together into fists / Will you hold me firmly anyway?" whisper grace and mercy into my my heart, but it's the "Okay" that gets me, always. It's so easy to "believe" that God's will is best and for our ultimate best, but the submission and surrender is so incredibly hard sometimes. To say "Okay" and not just believe but accept that what God wills is eternally better than what I want.

When I moved to Dallas I was black and blue from years of pushing him away, and when I first walked into my church (not mine at the time) almost a year ago, I was black and blue from months of continuing to try to ignore him. Even in my failures he continued to redirect my life, and he has blessed me in fantastically undeserved ways. I know all this, and yet I continue to fight him on so many things. Why is "Okay" so hard to say?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

As a man, perhaps I should not admit it, but there are songs that make me cry, too. I think there is one song in particular though that has wrung my heart in a particularly heavy way.

It's a song sung by Gary Chapman. The lyrics are as follows :

SWEET JESUS

There is a river runnin’ through this town
It carries the water
There isn’t any way to slow it down
Or make it stop
I was a baby when the big bridge fell
So I don’t remember
But I have listened to the stories well
And so I know they were falling to the surface
They were calling to their God
And their cry was
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you catch us - save us
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you hear us crying

Fishing for luck beneath the bridge that day
A man in his eighties
He saw it happen and began to pray
As he dove in
He found a mother and her baby boy
They both wouldn’t make it
The mama handed him her only joy
He took the child – then he was swimming
Like he was twenty
He made shoreline then he died
And his thoughts were

Sweet Jesus, please won’t you catch us - save us
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you hear us crying
He was crying

I miss my mother and the brave old man
Though I never knew them
They are the soul inside the man I am
I bare their dreams
And I am walking in their footsteps
I am talking to their God
And my cry is

Sweet Jesus, please won’t you catch us - save us
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you hear us
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you catch us - save us
Sweet Jesus, please won’t you hear us crying
We’re all crying

There is a river runnin’ through this town
It carries the water
There isn’t any way to slow it down
Or make it stop


I bought the CD just for that song. Back when I was in high school and had just purchased it, I would sit in my room, crank up the volume, and just sit there listening to it with tears streaming down my face. It has such a powerful message of sacrifice and relying on the Lord in the face of sacrifice.

I've listened to it so many times that I can barely stand it now. Yet, it still brings me to tears...

Friday, August 18, 2006 11:20:00 AM  

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