Sunday, August 05, 2007

Reclaiming Inheritance

"Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior." Titus 2:3-5

Three generations head to the mountains of Georgia
to get spiritually renewed and Titus 2'd
eleven hour drive quickly slides the sands of time
with some good conversation and a hymnal from 1953
somehow my mind discovers time travel
and the vehicle is four part harmony
with words and melodies I didn't even know I still knew
over 70 hymns quietly freefloating in my little mind
drinking in the voices of the past
I'm back at summer campmeetings in open concrete buildings
I'd look up at the wooden beams and trace the triangles with my fingers
Jesus fans blinking away the humidity
sweat trickling on the brows of the men
while the women try to maintain the grace of powdered beauty
but the glittery "glow" hides discreetly at the temples
where the horizon of hairspray sculpture meets the blushing cheek
smiling crimson lips part and high heels bounce
I would take off my sandals and feel the cool concrete on my feet
daydreaming about the homemade iced cream served after the service
as the minister spoke in a tilt-a-whirl sort of a way
too fast for me to comprehend
but I could sense the momentum of adventure
I would see an ant under the pew and follow his story
but just before he could reach is new friend the pill bug
I'd hear my second favorite sound
click, click, creek
as the seats adjust to emptiness
and sh, shhhhh, shhh
as the hymnal pages spin
chests all puff up like stretching flowers at sunrise
in the breath before beauty
and then . . .
"Praise the Lord, my heart with his love is beaming,
I am a child of God
Heaven's golden light over me is streaming
I am a child of God (repeat 2x)
I have washed my robes in the cleansing fountain
I am a child of God . . ." (Barney Warren, 1907)
Thank You, Lord for relevant hymns one hundred years old
for this annual weekend of Titus 2,
for an inheritance you can't record in a checkbook
most of all, for three generations who take time
to strip away all masks
sing some old songs
and chase after You

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."
Bob Marley

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."
Maya Angelou

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