Sunday, November 13, 2016

Music wove through our relationship like a golden thread. 
Like many couples we had our special song while dating: Rob, the musician, deemed it Chicago Transit Authority's Beginnings. To this day, I can't help but smile when I hear the brass chime in.
We'd spend hours in my parents' basement, listening to Rob's Columbia Record collection; we almost wore out the grooves of Deja vu and Abbey Road. My mom would finally yell down, "It's a school night!" and Rob would pack up his vinyls...and my heart.
We were married in 1976 when contemporary Christian music was still obscure, so we had to search for a current song that complimented the likes of Trumpet Voluntary. That was no easy task for two 21 year old's with unsophisticated taste, but we were pleased with Cousin Kathy's rendition of Here, There and Everywhere. Would I ever guess the line, "watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there," would send chills through me today?  

As poor newlyweds, our date nights usually found us in the aisles of Sound Warehouse on Westheimer and Voss. Rob studied the back of record jackets for hours, polishing his trivia skills, while I grooved, much to his embarrassment, to whatever was playing in the background. Then, we'd cap the night with a midnight run to House of Pies, where he'd try to dazzle me with his new repertoire of bass players and backup vocalists.
We were always late owls. Some nights we lay in bed until wee hours, playing our own form of Musical Jeopardy or Name that Tune, all the while laughing and robbing each other of much needed sleep.  "Just one more song," he'd say and I would give in.
In the later years of our marriage and with the onset of texting, we found ourselves a new love language. Rob would frequently send lyrics to express his affection or communicate whatever was on his mind. I soon began to deliver back my own, although, they were never as deep as his or as plenty.
 I might have texted the following much too many times.
They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will.
I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend...
(They did score me birthday tickets to the songwriter's concert, though... Mraz on a hot August night.)
Yes, sweet texts bridged the many miles when he was working far away and we sorely missed each other. Sometimes, they spoke deeper than the nightly phone call.
 There are still things we shared that I can't enjoy ...some restaurants and other places are taboo to date, but music keeps Rob's memory and our love alive. There are few Saturday nights that I don't turn on Austin City Limits or pull out an old vinyl, but I also try to broaden my playlist with new artists because...well, that's what's Rob would be doing.
Grief is a very individual thing; each of us must find a cord that keeps us connected to our loved one. For some it's travel or sports or a particular hobby; for me, it's music.

Today, I miss Rob insanely! I'd give anything to shoot him lyrics and wait for him to respond with the correct group or the next line.

To Rob from Robin
"We sat on a roof, named every star, shared every bruise and showed every scar. Hope has its proof, your hand in mine. Life has a beautiful, crazy design. Can there be breaks in the chaos sometimes? Oh, God must have heard when I prayed cause now I always want to feel this way."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"People will be able to tell where our hope is by how we react today.  If you celebrate Trump more than you’ve ever celebrated Jesus, both online and in person, people will know which is more important to you.  And if you act like all is lost, people will suspect our confidence in Christ is more of a coping mechanism than an anchor for the soul." 
 John McGowan
I confess; I give most of the credit for this post to John McGowan, the lead pastor of Restoration City Church just outside of my beloved D.C.
But he got me thinking...
Perhaps most of us are still waking up from the long election night, the shock of the victory is softening. My guess remains that all parties were not expecting the outcome. The streets and news feeds have filled with First Amendment chatter, emotions still run raw, and the peaceful passage of power has begun.
It's a historic time for the world, so how do I, as a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ, react?
In Kindness
I honestly can't fully identify with minority groups. I've lived a safe, privileged, "in the box" life, but because of Christ's love inside me, I can show empathy for those who fear the future. I can respect the passion behind another's platform.
I will look outside of my tidy life and offer a hand, a smile, an encouraging word. 
Speak words of life; someone may be dying to hear them.
 My social media must be filled with hope and love!

In Prayer
If this election season has taught me anything, it's that repentant prayer undergirds everything!
I will pray for the incoming as well as the outgoing.
Not occasionally, but daily.
Change will be difficult for everyone.

In Unity
Throughout the weeks leading to November 8th, I heard many comments linking our worth to a party, to a particular race and gender.
Our worth is found in only One! No president defines me, only my identification with a Savior.

Did you catch 'in only One?' Unity in One!
People are watching; do they see believers unified or will fragmentation over a fleeting presidency cost souls?
 So I will speak good news that binds every tribe and nation, every tongue and people.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."        John 13:35 NLT

How will you respond in the days to come?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A friend messaged me this morning, "Don't tell anyone, but at the last minute I voted for Trump."
I whispered back, "It was a really hard decision." 
Yesterday, I confessed to a friend that I was feeling less than love for friends with conflicting values. I needed love to overwhelm me.

We are a broken people!
No time for celebration, gloating, blame...
We are a broken people!

Recently, trusting God over my bank account, I chose not to enter a financial agreement with a company that tithes their profits to a church I consider dangerous and very misleading. One of my advisers treats me differently now. He sees me as bigoted; I see him as blind...a friendship stands in the balance. 
We are a broken people!

We whisper our concerns of unborn babies, dead end poverty, crippled economy and healthcare because we fear transparency and the backlash of our complicated humanity.
Oh courage and compassion, where have you gone?  

Yet hope remains...
I stand on the promise that
My God reigns on the most high throne.
His truths are unshakable.
He sheds his Grace.
He is the Way.
He heals.
He is love and a powerful teacher of it.

We hurt today. We hurt big.
We pray today. We pray big.
We hope today. We hope big.