Kyrie Eleison

Lyla tells me to park—to spend a week in one place. And the truth is I’m not so good at this. I’ve been parking in a certain book all year, but I can’t seem to get it to penetrate the hard shell of my heart.
On Monday at the Middle School band concert the parking is crazy. That lady doesn’t like where I pull my van and she says some things to me through her window—throws me a look. I throw one back. And all through the concert I feel that black look cast a shadow across my heart.
At work on Tuesday, I complain. I lean on the counter at the nurses’ station and tell my friend more black words. The words follow me all day—weighing me down, turning my eyes away from the good.
Thursday night, another concert at the Middle School. I promise myself not to let parking get me. But it’s the black words cast over someone I love before the show that leaves me in agony.
When will I learn? We sit shoulder to shoulder with other parents in dim light and listen to young voices fall over us from the stage. Jeffrey has been asked to play drums for the concert and I can hear the steady boom of his bass drum buoy me. But it’s the faces in the choir that twist my heart all around itself. I remember these kids in kindergarten—all chubby faces and sticky fingers. They’ve grown up beautiful and the way time tiptoes by makes my heart ache. 
I’ve been working outside all week. I finally got my little garden planted. Flower beds weeded and mulched. I’m sunburned and creaky about the joints and I have poison ivy. Tired. There is still more work to do and I feel the pressure to finish the job. But as I sit in the Middle School cafeteria and listen to those voices I think about the fat sunflower seeds I held in my hand earlier that day.
It takes strong faith to plant a seed. 
I remember a missionary telling us once that it was the hardest thing to convince the African people she served to do.
They were so hungry they wanted to eat the seeds right then, right there.
To convince them that planting would yield more—that waiting would be the better thing—this was the challenge when faced with these hungry faces.
Why can’t I plant this seed? I gobble it up hungrily and then it’s gone. No fruit, no crop, no hard shell softened and cracked so roots can burrow deep into rich soil. I make the same mistakes over and over and my black heart groans and cries for more.
A young girl walks up to the mic to introduce the next song.
The seventh and eighth grade chorus will sing Kyrie Eleison together. We hope you enjoy it. Kyrie Eleison means, Lord have mercy.
They start to sing but I am stuck on that simple prayer. The gentle lilting of the prayer fills me. And in the middle of the Middle School spring choral concert He comes to me—floods me with grace.
In those moments, I pray Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. And my black heart lifts and fills with light. 

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

Grab my new button at the bottom of the page and join us!


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

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  1. says

    Oh my….learning to stop and deal with the birth place of those black words….it is a lesson I’m sure I’ll be working on the rest of my life. For me they come from bitterness lying buried about other things. Then when “those” moments arise they erupt. I am finding that when I make a concerted effort everyday to allow God to shine on the ugly I have shoved down and deal with it that day then when “those” moments come my response is better. BUT I am so far from remembering to do that. Or I have the thought, “as His beloved I shouldn’t be feeling like this”. I think I’m choosing to move on but I’m not allowing the real feelings and thoughts to come to His feet. Thankfully it is getting much easier as I age.
    Now that our nest is empty I really miss choir concerts and such. Our youngest went to All State and I’m pretty sure I bawled through the entire concert.
    I’m so glad you said SUNFLOWERS….I keep forgetting to plant them. Our yard and gardens are very happy. We’ve had TONS of rain. We survived the tornado’s that bore down on all 7 of us through out the Kansas City area this last week. It was horrible watching one heading towards our youngest daughters apartment as they followed it with a helicopter. Things have quieted down and I do believe that summer has arrived. We’ve gotten into the 90’s and it’s HUMID. So very thankful for air conditioning.
    Hope your holiday weekend has been good! Blessings of joy on your week!

  2. says

    It’s funny – my husband and I were talking this morning about this very thing. I move too quickly sometimes. I want seeds to be buried so they’ll fruit, but I don’t want my talents buried. God, teach me the difference.

  3. says

    I’m going to be thinking about this all day, Laura…about those sticky little kindergarten hands that grow up. My daughter is 29 now; those chubby hands that I remember on her and her playmates are now cradling their own wee ones.

    And that hunger–so hungry they wanted to gobble the seeds themselves. I’m going to be tugging at that idea all day. Thank you.

  4. says

    Your words plant seeds as well. Thank you for that. Hope your garden flourishes and the poison ivy doesn’t! And yes, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Every day.

  5. says

    Oh, I just sat through my final middle school band and chorus concerts a few weeks ago. Mostly a relief, but a hint of bittersweet as it reinforces how old my kids are…

    This idea of gobbling up the seeds before we allow them to take root — this may be the most brilliant image I’ve seen in weeks, Laura. We scramble and snatch as much as we can, hardly even tasting it on the way down. I don’t let it do its work, always chasing it down with more.

    Thanks for that this morning; I appreciate it more than you can know.

  6. says

    I am far too familiar with those black words, as well as the ache or the years that tiptoe by too quickly. Kyrie Eleison indeed. Finally linking up with you here. Finally got the chance to do some playing.

  7. says

    touched my heart today ..through the moods i see an angel in you and i know you heard it in those drum beats and voices ~~blessings friend

  8. says

    The tenderness of your sweet heart is so precious. I, too, am thankful to Him for His continued purification of all my thoughts, words, and actions. May we be holy for His Glory.

  9. says

    this is a great reminder…no one can wrecck my day like i can…letting the weeds take root and choke out any seed i put down…or maybe like you say i just eat them at times…thanks for the gentle reminder…

  10. says

    Today, I pray that you will have faith to step out and plant that seed and be patient enough to let it grow and flourish. What a beautiful post.

  11. says

    Ah, sweet Laura. This is simply lovely – every last syllable, every last photo. Sigh. Each of those images is stick-worthy – the van eliciting black looks/kids growing up/the Jesus prayer, set to music/and the hungry Africans wanting the food now – oh, yes, that pretty much describes the human condition. Maybe it’s a bit different if you’re facing actual starvation and someone flashes seeds before you. I surely do not have that excuse! Thank you so much for this graceful and grace-filled writing. If you ever wrote and published a devotional book, I’d buy it in multiples and use it with everyone I meet with. Maybe you already have??

  12. says

    I’m wondering if the music teachers all over collaborated on this theme. I also attended a middle and high school concert last week, and the high schoolers sang a song called “Kyrie Eleison” (which was beautiful)!
    And like Jennifer above, I love parking here too. 🙂
    Your new site (and button) is GORGEOUS, by the way.

  13. says

    Black words that spill and are planted in the soil of hearts if allowed bring up bad tasting harvest. So necessary to cry out, Lord have mercy, and then weed those words right out of the garden.

    I remember Beth Moore teaching on planting God’s seed and waiting for the harvest. His seed I so need to let grow and bear fruit.

    Great thoughts as usual. Love your new look here. Refreshing, like your words.

  14. says

    I like that your playdate included middle school drums. Did you know that my daughter–just finishing 6th grade–is in percussion?

    The seeds part, that got me, too.

  15. says

    getting away from the familiar gives one the distance needed to gain a new perspectiveon everyday life. He even has evidence that immersing oneself in another culture—moving to another country—boosts creativity.
    Just reread this whole post and I so agree with the idea of getting out into another culture to change your perspective. So valuable.

  16. says

    For the past several weeks, a dread comes over me on Saturday for my Sunday morning doings–my teaching the only kids’ SS at our church. I spend a great deal of time in prep and usually for only 2-5 kids. Some times I get angry about it all. But in these past weeks, almost without fail, each time I lead them in musical worship, the Spirit of God sweeps over me afresh. I feel his pleasure, and I find peace.

    There’s just something about music that takes me to his throne. Perspective is always clearer there.

    Keep planting good seed, sister. Wait with me and watch it grow!


  17. says

    Laura, Laura…..
    Thank you for this. And thank you for inspiring me. You were my “There and Back Again” visit this week.

    Blessings to you, dear Friend.

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