Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keep Marching

Listening to Sara Groves sing "When the Saints" during my morning run today.  (Sounds like I'm some kind of regular runner - I'm doing this couch to 10k....again).  Anyway, I have loved this song since Bronwyn learned of it when she was in Africa and got to see Sara Groves in concert.  But today, I listened more carefully to the words - and oh how they spoke to me.

Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I can’t let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
it all can overwhelm me
but I think of all who've gone before them and lived the faithful life
their courage compels me

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaohs court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary at the angry spear 
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the dying mans side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down that door

I see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load 

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them
I want to be one of them

The first two stanzas talk about the burden of all there is to do. Since coming to Brasil my world has opened up.  There is SO much to do, and so many times I feel very, very inadequate.  Like my little efforts are like an ant scratching away at a mountain, grain by grain, pebble by pebble.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and weary and wonder if it is even worth all the sacrifice - not just by me, but all those who support our family, our extended families who miss us and vice versa, etc...

But in this song, we are reminded that we have encouragement through the scriptures and all those who have gone before us.  Maybe they felt like their efforts were useless also.  Now, years later, we see that they weren't useless.  Maybe they never saw the fruits of their labor.  That would be really hard.  They had to suffer a lot more than I am suffering - yet they marched on.

Marching - not sprinting, running, walking leisurely, crawling or standing still -frozen because there is so much to do.  Marching.  Walking confidently forward with a purpose.  Following their leader and those in front of them.  I've never been in a band, but I'm imagining that that's what you do - follow the leader and the others in front of you and around you who are marching in the same direction.  Your one little instrument playing, while it may be pleasant, doesn't have near the impact of all the instruments playing together as one.

So, my efforts of clawing away at the mountain may not do much, but combined with all those others who are working to advance the kingdom - wherever they are, whatever they are doing (I'm certainly not just talking about missionaries, or paid church people here - far from it!). All of us together will make a difference.

So let's keep marching.

Listen and be encouraged!

2 comments:

  1. I love this one too!!! Keep marching...love you.

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  2. I love this song :) Love you Mom!

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