source // here

I want to be a story-teller, one who lives wide-eyed to the gifts that pour over all of us, each of us, every day.

I want to sit in a coffee shop and look into the eyes of every single grace-covered person and hear their Story. And I want to tell it, share it with the world.

The beauty of a broken life made whole, a miracle birth, a long-awaited dream come true.

A full life, broken into pieces and smashed to dust, yet still the story of one who clings to the One who formed us from the dust.

Ashes that rise, smoke that billows, soot that stains.

I want to tell the story.

But first, I must tell my own.

source // here

To examine the old days is to choke back tears of pain that stop up my throat and make it hard to breathe. My eyes are blurry whenever I think too hard on a particular name. I see the faces of yesterday and I want them to live in my tomorrow. I desperately plead like a wild beggar that it be His will to cover this broken heart in redemption.

But right now, He isn’t moving.

But oh, He is shaking the Earth for me.

original source // here

He is stirring my heart and deepening the longing for Him, pressing in and moving into rooms He’s been busy clearing out. It’s all I can do to realize this truth in time to breathe out, “Make way, Hosanna! The King has come.”

Into my messy wrinkled life, my healing wholey heart, He has set up shop.

He isn’t moving.

I strain to hear a rumble in the distance, some sign that God is up to something. I want to know for sure that healing is coming and that peace will clothe until the mended are whole.

I want the brokenness to crumble, the walls to tumble, and Him to be standing there will a healed heart with the skin that shines over a covered scar.

But here I sit. And it’s silent. The only sound I hear is a whispered “Hosannah” and I look around and wonder who has the audacity to sing to the unmoving King in a time like this, when life hurts and confusions continue.

The voice is familiar and I hear it growing louder, close to my ears, and I see the mirror of His love and in it, my mouth is the one moving.

source // here

Hosannah to the unmoving, unchanging, unfailing God.

Hosannah, a cry of praise to the King Who has come to redeem.

Hosannah, a cry of hopeful brokenness, asking for help.

The Hebrew word for hosanna is hoshi’ ah-na and it became a greeting or a shout of praise. This happy, thankful, welcoming word actually meant something very different, though.

Hoshi’ ah-na!

Hoshi’ ah-na!

Save! Help!

I cry-sing it with everything in me. Praise to the One who allows me to break; praise to the One who has the power to save; praise to the One who holds it all, and I am part of all, together.

He moves and the earth shakes, and He remains on the throne, immovable.

If I ever wanted someone to be two places at once, it is Him. Lord, be here with me in this broken world. Lord, remain on your throne, King of all, that I may praise your Faithful name.

And when it’s all too much and I bow low with hands raised but my throat is dry and my song feels empty…

…on the days when my lips part but no sound comes out, when I feel as if I’m free-falling, I have found a chorus of friends singing hoshi’ ah-na for me.

They wave the palm branches and sing praise! save! to the only One who is worthy, until I can find running water from the Living Water and my parched mouth sings again.

You, Ann, sang for me this past week. When I wrote a struggling email to the (in)courage team on our monthly prayer request send-out, you wrote back and provided words that were a comfort, a balm.

On this birthday of yours, a day to celebrate the God in you that continues to breathe life, I want to say a public thank you. Not only for the books written, the pages printed that I have fingerprinted and marked up and down, but for the email directly to my heart that came with cool, soothing words.

I remember, even when we are broken we still belong. He covers the bleeding cracks.

Dear Ann, You sing life as you pray save, and I will join you in that, all the while remembering who we are and whose we are.

For, forgive me fellow Ann lovers (of which I am, too), but she is only human and He is God above.

There is a problem in looking to wholey human instead of holy God, and when we do so our value is misplaced and our heart focus misused.

But we can join beside and come along and walk with and hold up together the Body of Christ which is the Church that we are a part of. And we are sisters holding hands across countries and borders and walls erected on land and in our hearts.

We join the mighty chorus of His children around the world singing hoshi’ ah-na, for we are all people of a broken world and therefore we break and bend and shatter and crumble to dust.

And He makes beauty of ashes and life from dust.