Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Love Songs

Star Cluster NGC 3603
"...the morning stars sang together, and all the children of God shouted for joy..." Job 37:8

Do you sing love songs?  I sing over my babies.  Each time I got pregnant, before ever getting a positive test, I woke up in the night singing a praise song for the baby inside of me.  Although I don't consider myself much of a singer (I can usually get about three notes in any given key, and the rest are too high or too low), there is something about a newborn that begs for a tender, joy-filled, love-bursting lullaby.  Each of my babies has a little song that welled up inside me right after they were born.  I still sing them to them, even to my seven year old, and get all teary-eyed listening to my five year old come up with his own little love song to his baby sister (it almost always makes her stop crying).

In my last post, I mentioned that God sings over us.  I still am filled with wonder over that.  I picture Him cradling me in His arms, filled with the same overwhelming love that I have holding my little ones, and it takes my breath away that He could love me like that.  Not resigned tolerance.  Not impatience or disappointment.  Joy.  Delight.  Contentment.

That is what He sings over us.  Promise.  Hope.  Laughter.  Security.  Love.

That is what I want to sing over the people in my life.

Something in our culture seems to encourage us to screech or croak discord.  Shortly after Carlos and I were married, we started hanging out with some other young couples.  We gradually stopped, because I always came away feeling uncomfortable. The wives did nothing but complain and gripe about their husbands.  I have heard a lot of parents do that with their kids. They use words for their families that sound as if they are enemies--war marches instead of love songs.

I get the need to vent at times.  Really.  And I do it--sometimes here, sometimes to my friends, always to God.  Sometimes I struggle with the balance between authenticity and choosing to speak Truth and blessings over others.  But when I dig really deep, I almost always find that the things that I complain about are not the real issue at all.  They are just signals to look beyond the surface, to check my boundaries, and to practice love.  Love does not look like excusing or ignoring boundary violations.  It isn't a sticky, sugary passivity in the face of wrong, even if (especially if) the wrong is being done by someone I love dearly.  Sometimes it means confrontation, and holding tight to boundaries meant to protect myself and others.

Living right in the middle of Name It and Claim It headquarters (or Blab It and Grab It theology), I have heard some ridiculous (not to mention greedy) things.  I don't want to get all weird, yet I also believe very strongly that there is an element of prophecy in what we sing over others.  When Mary sang over Jesus, when Miriam and Deborah sang over God's deliverance of their people, when Hannah sang over Samuel--there was a power singing through them that went beyond nice words and a melody.  We become Namers when we sing over others. 

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." ~ Peggy O'Mara

I still feel sad when I remember hearing a perfectly nuanced sigh that sounded identical to mine coming from my daughter over a childish mishap.  I don't want the inner voice in my family to be of sighs, exasperation or criticism.  I want them to hear me singing love songs over them, joining in the chorus with the God who sings for joy over us.

Image credit: Image Editor on Flickr


Pippi said...

I always hated that husband-bashing in other maried women when I was first married. Now I feel like I've become what I hated. Oy.

arwen_tiw said...

BEAUTIFUL! :) Thankyou for this, thankyou thankyou from this singing mama.

Rae said...

this is a lovely post. i feel the same way...

dulce de leche said...

(((Pippi))). I think you have had to try to deal with serious boundary violations and are trying to figure out how to protect your children and yourself. That is a different thing from calling your husband a moron because he leaves his socks on the floor. <3

Arwen and Rae, thank you so much! <3 I love being part of a virtual choir. :)

Malena said...

Beautiful melody fills my heart from this post. Words seem to gain extra lingering power when put to music--good & bad--what positive power when they are God's Words. I know He loves to hear you sing:) You make me smile:)

Sarah said...

This is just a beautiful post. <3 Thank you for it. I agree wholeheartedly.

Maria said...

I needed this reminder this week. Thank you. <3