Never Alone

Jason Upton – Never Alone Martin (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

 Never Alone Martin

Sometimes, we feel so afraid
Sometimes, we feel so lonely
Sometimes, we feel confused
Sometimes, we feel so helpless,
And we don’t know what to do
It’s so hard to believe it, if we never heard it
The voice of a Father saying our name

You’re not alone
You’re not alone
I never leave you
I never leave you
Alone

Sometimes, just sitting in the middle of the dark at night
Sitting on the piano just playing around
Sometimes, it’s just fun to sing it until I see it again
Just to sing it over and over and over and over

I’m not alone
I’m not alone
You never leave me
You never leave me

Martin Luther King
one night was sitting at his kitchen table
all by himself
his family had already gone to bed
and all of a sudden he receives this phone call
and this man said:
“Martin if you don’t stop preaching what you’re preaching
we’re gonna take the life of your family and we’re gonna take your life
we’re gonna kill you.”
and after he hung up the phone
he said at that table
and he begin just to say:
“Father, I grew up in the church
I’ve preached your kingdom in justice all over the earth
I’ve preached your kingdom in justice all over America
And I know you’re real but right now I’m so afraid and I don’t think I’ve ever hurt You
say my name
and I’m here to hear your voice father I need you to say my name”
and he just began to cry
and out the silence he heard the voice of his father for the first time
and it said this:

Never alone Martin
Never alone Martin
I’ll never leave you (3x)
I’ll never leave you
no…

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jason Upton

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a day to celebrate the life of an ordinary, flawed, great man who had to hear what each one of us longs to hear: the voice of God call our name when we need to hear Him most.

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Did I waste my time on all that Prayer?

Age of Anxiety

I just wanna live inside sometimes
Don’t wanna have to beg you to subscribe
Are you a man before your father dies?
“But what’s a man these days?” I hear you cry
And are we raising up our children right?
Is my career gonna reignite?
See all the virtue signalers tonight
I want that bandwagon to pass me by

Well, I’ve been scratching around in the dirt
Looking for meaning in the cold, cold earth
To gather in what’s left of your self-worth
‘Cause only love is what survives of us

‘Cause I hold on to you
And you hold on to me
A tiny victory in the age of anxiety

Do those kids know that I was somebody?
And I’ve kept all my texts from Amy
My mother was one of those bodies
Another stranger off the ferry

Don’t wanna put my hands up in the air
And raise my phone up like I just don’t care
At our age, blow me down the White House stairs
Oh, did I waste my time on all that prayer?
No, I won’t be your apparatchik*
And be the kind who’s blind to all its magic
So here comes your European exit
With asylum seekers in your attic

So I hold on to you
And you hold on to me
A tiny victory in the age of anxiety

Today, I do not feel like being strong
I don’t wanna admit to the world, I’m wrong
Don’t make me feel that I have to belong
I hope the band won’t make me sing along

‘Cause I hold on to you
And you hold on to me
A tiny victory in the age of anxiety
A shining victory in the age of anxiety

I hope the band won’t make me sing along
I hope the band won’t make me sing along
(Ah, ah, ah) ah, mmm
The age of anxiety
I hope the band (ah, ah)
I hope the band (ah, ah)
I hope the band (ah, ah)
I hope the band (ah, ah)

I hope the band won’t make me
Whoa, whoa
I hope the band won’t make me
Whoa, whoa
I hope the band won’t make me
Whoa, whoa
I hope the band won’t make me
Whoa, whoa (love survives of us)
Whoa, whoa (love survives of us)
Whoa, whoa (only love survives of us)
(Whoa, only love survives of us)

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jamie Cullum

The Age Of Anxiety lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Released 2019

*apparatchik ~ fellow traveller, comrade.


It is interesting to listen to Jamie’s creative process based on discovering old text from Amy Winehouse (note his reference to Amy in the 4th paragraph of his song) – but the line that caught my attention was this:

Don’t wanna put my hands up in the air
And raise my phone up like I just don’t care
At our age, blow me down the White House stairs
Oh, did I waste my time on all that prayer?

Here Cullum captures the threads of our age of anxiety, with the inspiration of the late Amy Winehouse, and thrusts us to the uncomfortable question of faith – whether he intended to or not.  Do we not all ask ourselves, “did I waste my time on all that prayer”… “am I wasting time on prayer now?”

It is not for me to answer for you, but prayer more than anything is the expression of our heart to the heart of God in the time most expressive of our need for connection with the One who made us for Himself.

Now… let us pray…

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An Invitation to What Matters

Van Goph Sunflowers by David Pyatt

My Work is Loving the World

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

This is the first poem in Mary Oliver‘s collection Thirst, titled, “The Messenger.”


It is lovely, isn’t it? This invitation to be mindful of what matters:

Let me keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.

So go ahead; stand still, be astonished, pray.

Enter the New Year with a desire to do the work.

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It’s You

It’s You

 

It’s the journey to you and from you

It’s the journey with and without you

It’s the journey in you and amid you

It’s You.

 

The way you lead and linger,

Prompting, holding, surrounding,

You wait for me to discover

It’s You.

 

Your absence and presence

make no difference to your encircling

For you are, and 

It’s all about You.

 

You wait for me to catch up

Or wait for when I will wait too,

It’s the leap-frog leap of faith,

It’s You.

 

Where can I go from your presence?

Where can I hide from your love?

Where else is there but where

It’s You?

 

You surround me with birdsongs of beauty

You encompass me with winsomeness

You embody the imaginative impulse

For it is You my soul adores.

It’s You, R.H. Foerger, March 19, 2020
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All that’s Worth Finding

Love

by John C. Morgan

Only old people with wrinkles and arthritis know about love.
It’s all worth saving
when everything is gone.

Grown taut by disappointment,
the body awaits the end
and can no longer melt under lover’s heat. Only dying persons find each day
a lifetime,
for that is all that’s worth finding.

Facing death makes love everything.

John Crossley Morgan, “Love,” found in Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life.


There is something lovely about the way Morgan gently moves us to the realization that “facing death makes love everything.”  As he begins,

It’s all worth saving
when everything is gone.

When everything else is gone, only dying persons find each day a lifetime of all that’s worth finding.

Morgan recurs a theme found in Madaleine L’Engle’s enchanting poem, To A Long Loved Love.

We who have known the touch of flesh and the shape of bones…
What passion knowledge of tried flesh still yields,
What joy and comfort these familiar rooms.


What have you found that is worth finding, worth saving? Be sure to remember. Be sure to share that with your long loved love. And may you continually go to the ancient source of renewing love in the One who made us for Himself.

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We Give Them Back to Thee

Image from pikrepo.com

“I think that the dying pray at the last not, ‘please,’ but ‘thank you’ as a guest thanks his host at that door.”     Annie Dillard

This favourite line from Annie Dillard is a recurring theme reminding me to be thankful, to receive life and death as the gifts they are. The following poem by Ernst van Eeghan was written in response to his wife’s death:


We give them back to Thee, dear Lord, who gavest them to us.

Yet as You do not lose them in the giving, so we have not lost them by their return.

Not as the world gives, gives Thou, O Lover of souls.

What Thou gavest, Thou takes not away; for what is Thine, is ours always, if we are Thine.

And Life is eternal, and Love is immortal, and death is only the limit of our sight.

Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see farther.

Cleanse our eyes, that we may see more clearly.  Amen.


With an understanding that we may joyfully steward all that is God’s in our short lives, Ernst van Eeghen considers’s his wife’s death while pondering Jesus’ words to His closest friends “not as the world gives, give I unto you… let your hearts not be troubled… 

Poem found in James M. Houston’s “Memoirs of a Joyous Exile and a Worldly Christian.”

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The Integrated Life

Nicky Gumble picks up on this famous quote by Marquez told to his biographer Gerald Martin.  Gumble writes about the relationship of an integrated life to holiness and wholeness:

Holiness is about living an integrated life, rather than a dis-integrated one. Holiness is where there is no difference between our public, private, and secret lives and no difference between what we profess and what we practice. Holiness is linked to wholeness. When God calls you to be holy, He is saying “be wholly mine.”

People want authenticity; we want to be authentic – or at least get away with passing for being authentic – but the truly authentic life is the integration of our public, private, and secret lives in such a way that we are whole within the holiness of God – that is to say – we are “wholly God’s.”

Billy Graham said,

Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.


  • What have you learned about holiness and wholeness?
  • Against popular culture’s depiction of in-authentic christians, how have you lived out your spiritual journey in Christ?
  • What does it mean to you to be authentic in a disintegrating culture where the public, private, and secret lives are often lived in self contradiction?
  • What is the relationship between character, integrity, and authenticity?
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