"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Song for Lent

It was the day before Ash Wednesday -

Fat Tuesday, some people call it -

One of those late nights.

My friend was painting.

I was on my laptop, keeping her company,

Trying desperately to avoid homework for just a few more hours.

It was probably Wednesday already when I decided to focus on something,

Give thanks and write a song in preparation for bed.

I wasn't feeling terribly inspired.

I saw the link again as I scrolled through Facebook status updates.

I'd read it once already,

But twice couldn't hurt.

I clicked

And scrolled

And read again.

It hit me harder the second time,

As I took in each word,

Didn't skim because I wasn't in a hurry,

And slowly understood

And this wasn't just another person,

This wasn't just someone else's story,

This was my story,

Because I try

And I fall

And I see that I'm not enough,

That I don't love enough,

That there's a deeper need in me than I know

For what He did on that cross

And grace means nothing

Until it's needed,

Until I feel that need,

Deep down in the marrow of my bones.

And, that night, I felt it.

So I wrote.

I often tend to write in a rush,

Quick practice before bed,

Unless I'm inspired to write earlier in the day

Or I miraculously begin to prepare for bed at a semi-decent hour.

This time, though, I had time,

So I sat

And I thought

And I dug deep,

Dug deep for words

To express what can never be fully explained,

And aren't we artists all just trying to frame the clouds,

And what lens can hold more than just a tiny fraction?

But I tried,

Because I needed to say it,

And I shared,

Not sure if it would be accepted,


I told my friend who tells me not to write elementary lyrics

That these were the least elementary I'd ever written.

He read through the version that had been slightly revised from the original,

Told me not to change a thing.

He wanted to hear the melody.

I came up with a quick accompaniment,

Did a demo recording.

I emailed it to him.

He listened.

He said the first time it threw him off,

That the melody wasn't what he expected from the lyrics.

So he listened to it again.

The second time he said he loved it,

That I should keep it the way it was,

And that I should share it.

So I'm sharing it with all of you.

I just made the demo recording of the song available on SoundCloud,

Not only to listen to, but to download.

I hope it says something to your heart.

I know it came straight from mine.

Fall on Grace

Dark roots
Pierce through my heart
And wrap around.

Greedy fingers
Find where they are
And hold on.

Reach into my eyes
And flood my mind.

And I
Jump and I dive

And I try
To cut off the roots,
Pull the plug on this reservoir,
But I
Am finding the truth:
That this springs up from my heart.

Course through my veins,
Run right through me.

Solemn vows
Slip from my memory.
I am so weak.

Wells up in my chest,

My knees
Are shaking from this
Poison in me.

And I try
To live by Your blood,
Get my drink from another place,
But I
Find I'm not enough,
From my self there's no escape.

So I'll fall on Grace,
I'll fall on Grace,
I try, but I can't stand
The weight of my blood-red hands.

Oh, I need Your Grace,
'Cause the stain runs deeper still,
And I can't save myself,
No, I can't save myself.

So I try
To set my eyes on You,
Watch the darkness run and hide,
And I
Fall right down again,
Fall on Grace and all stains are white. 

©2013 Mary Schieferstein

I took a bit of a sabbatical from electronics last week,

So I did not have my laptop with its access to Bible Gateway and my 10,000 Reasons document with which to count.

So, while I had a phenomenal week seeking God in other ways,

I'm afraid I have no reasons to share with you here.

But if anyone else has some?

(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>

Counting in community:

Also, I know that sin is an incredibly difficult topic,

And I feel that,

Rather than handling it well,

I often cause confusion.


Only so much can be covered in a three-minute song,

Or in a fifty-minute sermon for that matter,

So might I just quietly say that,

When I talk about sin like this,

I'm only speaking of a part of it?

That there's a place where what I said fits into what I believe,

But what I believe -

What I mean -

Is much, much bigger?

I meant what I said here last week, too.

And if you'd like some other resources?

I found this video by Tim Conway particularly helpful,

And I think that this and this from DesiringGod,

And this and this from the Resurgence are probably pretty good, too,

Though I'll admit I just skimmed :)

I do need to get to bed sometime this morning.

Just wanted to have a few resources available for all of you.

Thank you all so much.

God bless!


My deepest apologies,

I seem to have missed the most important links.

(This is why I shouldn't blog at one in the morning.)

Considering that what the Bible says about sin is what I either, a. believe, or b. need to study more so that I may come to believe it, it might be helpful to have some Bible verses about sin.

"Sin", "Sinners", and "Original Sin" from OpenBible,

Definition of Sin from gotquestions.org.

So sorry I forgot about that.

Hope these are more helpful than the other ones.



Kelli Woodford said...

your friend was right. these are definitely not elementary lyrics. grace still teaches the most learned among us, yet is placed on the lowest shelf, where even the simplest can reach. you have given words to it well, friend -- although i get that framing the clouds thing, too. :)

Sylvia R said...

"Fall on Grace and all stains are white." Amen. Thanks be to our gracious Lord!

(Hope this comment goes through. I think I messed up on some previous ones. Blessings to you.)

Mary said...

Oh, thank you so much, Kelli!

Yes, it does. Always so much to learn - such deep mysteries - yet some of it can be understood - such a paradox! It's incredible!

Thank you for your words, friend. Always such a blessing and an encouragement to me!

Mary said...

Oh, yes, Sylvia! Thanks be to Him and Him alone!

(Yes, it did. Funny, I was just thinking this week that I hadn't heard from you here in a really long time . . . These comment forms sometimes play tricks on us. :) Thanks for stopping by, friend. Your words are always much, much appreciated.)

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