The Giving and Taking


(lyrics written by Matt Redman)

Blessed be Your name

In the land that is plentiful

Where Your streams of abundance flow

Blessed be Your name

One girl falls in love with one boy on a tandem bike ride around an island.  Latched together, moving in harmony against heat, and waves, and wind, and water.  Pushed and pulled by the brevity and the infinite.  Blessing and trial to come; blessing and trial to come.  And tender, young-love lifts off into a lifetime of sacrifice-love.  Forever and surrender-love.  Giving-up-ourselves-at-all-costs-love. Opening like a book to be read, and treasured, and held bosom-close, and cherished, and hurt, and scared, and welcomed, and home.

A touch, and see, and burn, and give-love. 

One girl and one boy so fixed and steadfast that it hurts–an indisputable love. A constant that will hold them, gripping to the depths when all will soon seem permanently vanished.  Lost.  And shortly they will begin to learn and to know where this relentless, persistent, Ever-Love comes from.

A hardy, little sailboat embarking on a maiden voyage.  Champagne bottles crashing and christening against her, pushing her off.  Catching the salt-wind gusts in bright, warming sunshine, a tiny vessel amid the great, vast sea.  This new, untested, pioneer-love.

Blessed be Your name

When I’m found in the desert place

Though I walk in the wilderness

Blessed be Your name

A man weeps openly when he is witness to the unashamed, exposed felicity of others. For he has an inability to feel joy.  A burning-low and barely-seen love.

Little boat, tossed to-and-fro, as the thundering, rolling-grey storm sets in.  In the dark of night, it comes.

 A woman escapes into the forests where the beach house is nestled near the Lake, the familiar sand gripped tightly into her fists, to find a peace on the shore that eludes her.  It is fleeting, and the chasm of emptiness is always there.

Hurts and isolation and loneliness are weighted on them like concrete, pulling them down and apart, though they fight it.

Man and woman, escape again running.  A hiding as old as Adam and Eve.  Little life raft turned to a distant memory of wounds and brokenness, fleeting snapshots of loss and heartache.  Of dreams dashed against rocks, feeble boat smashed and swallowed, it’s passengers left to sink.  And murky, dismal waters envelope and crush.  A death-love.

Blessed be Your name

When the sun’s shining down on me

And the world’s all as it should be

Blessed be Your name

Sometimes there is a serene eye in the center of the storm, or one storm ceases before another begins.  It’s as if the clouds part and you can glimpse the sun and feel it’s warmth as a reassurance that it actually exists.  This reality washes over, even if only briefly.  In these moments of slow-motion glory, of eventful truth and joy, I breathe deeply into my lungs, gulping and feeling them fill to the brink.  Like a woman in labor, catching her breath between oxygen ripping, body-clenching contractions, knowing there is more bearing down, more to tend, more to toil through until the end.  A sharp-low struggle, deep-soul tearing, stripping away, reaching into the secret chasm, before newness and joy emerge.  More death. This transformative-love.

Blessed be Your name

On the road marked with suffering

Though there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be Your name

She can’t sing the song with words, but they are  fire-branded deeply, a severe and excruciating claiming and owning of her soul, and pride is purged in each tear that dashes over skin, catching on tired, pale cheek.  A never-letting-go love, a hanging-on-at-all-cost love.  And it doesn’t even touch the grief that Job suffered, or that her Christ Lord pulled onto himself, but she feels just a sliver of it, and it hurts.  It hurts and burns to be rescued.

And the torrent rains come washing down, from dark clouds to the sinister, onyx water.  A baptism of man and wife, going under, and sinking, and drowning, and dying.  A letting-go for gaining-it-all, love.

You give and take away

You give and take away

My heart will choose to say

Lord, blessed be Your name

An all-costs, to the bitter-end of it all, love.

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