O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

the gastric flu has subsided – all that remains is a stubborn bloatedness, and a sensitivity to food that is oily, or fried, or spicy. lunch today was the plainest of fishball noodles. i helped myself to fishcakes, fishballs and meatballs, and a small sampling of kway teow.

the afternoon flew by, and at the appropriate time i set off for Calvary Baptist at Potong Pasir to enjoy a concert put up by gid’s church.

i haven’t been very well this week, and so from the moment that i sat down (at 750pm) till the conclusion of the concert (at 1015pm), there were bouts of gassiness and nausea, and a persistent splitting head-ache. i had brought a sweater for this precise situation, but i was somehow still really cold, and the bloatedness was making things real uncomfortable, and mid-way through i began to feel like i was running a fever. so that was happening throughout the concert, which made it quite a sad night.

yet at the very same time, from the moment that the choir struck up a song that i had last heard in !! Sunday School !!

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

i was so full of joy and delighted, and despite the ongoing discomforts, i could not help but stand and sing along when the conductor motioned for us to join in as an audience, to wave and gesture my hands in time with the song and the rise and fall of the music, to see the story of Jesus unfold itself anew

and it was just very beautiful and true to see the choir be made up of all sorts of funny and happy and involved people!! there was a very tiny boy playing the violin and an even tinier girl singing on stage (there was a whole segment where it was just kids singing songs that ended in the actual chapter and verse which is a blast to the past when we used songs to help us learn memory verses) and a super old man with a gentle japanese accent and singers with BIG voices and young adults like me myself and whole families spaced out in the choir

and there was a lady in the crowd who was signing the entire concert and it made some of the singers in the choir cry, and at moments when i sang and the song lifted me the headache and the chills would go away and i just had such a wonderful wonderful time, when they sang “Joy Has Dawned” i was entirely swept up in the joy of the choir and the joy that they sang of, and when they did “Come Behold” (and at many other moments) i thought of all the people that i would have loved to have there, dear friends and family to listen to these treasured truths with me

after the concert had ended people came to tell me that they saw me swaying and singing with gusto, and they asked me what my favorite song/moment was, and i found it so hard to give an answer because i felt like death (but to them i was clearly FULL OF LIFE so how do i explain that without expending the limited energy that i had left), but also because some songs were intricate layers of harmony and other songs were bundles of nerves and the ever-present struggle to be on a stage with a big crowd down below, but each and every song was honest, and sincere.

it is now 12:57 am. the chills are better, the head is less achey but will likely start itself up again if i do not sleep. but i thought it essential that i pen this down, to remind my soul that this is what it is all about: a patient and abiding love that will one day birth fullness of joy.

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

goodnight friends :–)

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