Friday, May 20, 2011

The Music Inside

The rain beat heavily on the windshield, my wipers wiping furiously as I sped down the highway. The wind blew with even greater fury as small leafy branches flew across my path, ripped from the strong arms of their trees and carried helplessly now by the will of the storm.

Inside my truck, I was driven by another will. I was on a mission.

I had just dropped off my children in the safety of my parents' home where they were staying the night. The task now before me was to pick up dinner and a movie before my wife returned home from work. On the other side of this storm was a Friday night stay-at-home date: hot wings and The King's Speech. Meanwhile, there was only the torrent of wind and rain and highway.

My son is afraid of bad weather. He gets nervous around lightning, thunder, and dark clouds. Before I left him at my parents' house, he expressed to me his worry over the weather that pounded against the walls and roof that protected us. I assured him that there was nothing to fear. "That's why we have houses - to keep us safe." Sometimes the difference between inside and outside is profound.

As I drove through the storm in my truck, the difference between interior and exterior became even more contrastive. Before embarking on my mission, I put on one of my favorite worship CDs by Fernando Ortega entitled "In the Shadow of Your Wings." As the storm raged and threatened me from the view my windshield, I listened to Fernando's delicate piano-playing and to his voice singing the Pauline blessing: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

When you are weather-beaten and worn.  Grace...

When you are threatened and afraid.  ...peace to you...

When you are tossed about like an orphaned branch.  ...from God our Father...

When with the disciples you cry, "Lord, I perish!"  ...and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What matters most is not the sounding of the storm outside, but the melody of the music inside. When the music inside is dark and troubled, no shining sun can tune it. When the music inside is light and peace, no howling tempest can drown it. May Christ teach our hearts a new song that, when we need shelter from the storm, we might be able to say with the psalmist, "In the shadow of Your wings, I sing because You help me."

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