Monthly Archives: November 2013

Good to Me

“Mom, I need to tell you something about that song. It just touches my heart.”

Her assessment was correct as evidenced by her hand over her heart, tears rolling gently down her cheeks.

“Just imagine, mom, people hearing those words for the first time and asking ‘Who … who has been good to me?’ Just think of how many might come to know Jesus for the first time if they took the time to ask (and then answer) the question.”

And then I did … think about it, all night long in fitful sleep and now this morning.

What about that particular question (in identifying the Giver of all goodness) might lead a person to move within arm’s reach of God?

Audrey Assad’s song Good to Me is a new favorite in our home. My daughter is learning to play it on her guitar. Somewhere in the midst of the E chord, A and F# chord, correct fingering, and strum patterns, Amelia’s heart was moved beyond the mechanics of the song to wrestle more deeply with the meaning of its words:

“I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise

And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness

When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name

And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me

You are good to me, good to me

You are

Good to me.

I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help is found

Your voice fills the night – raise my head up to hear the sound

Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God

And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me ….”

(Audrey Assad, from the album Fortunate Fall, 2013)

Steadying our hearts on the ground of God’s goodness, in sorrows, through fires, even when foxes lurk in the vineyards threatening to consume the fruit of our labors. Even in these, joy can exist. Why? Because God is good, and God gives good gifts to his children, even when they are unaware of his generous dispensation. How might they begin to figure it all out?

Well, maybe by asking this simple question:

Who … who has been good to me?

Go ahead, ask the question. Make a list of the many goodnesses in your life if you’d like. And, if you’re brave, ask the question:

Who … who has been good to me?

Trace it back as far as you’re able and, then, allow the Holy Spirit to finish the drawing. No doubt and with 100% accuracy, he’ll land you back at your roots, your firm foundation—the solid rock of God through the saving grace of his Son. God is where all goodness begins. He is where all goodness resides.

And therein is our salvation. Therein, lives our answer.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” –James 1:17

Sing it like you mean it. Live it like you know it, and see if God doesn’t move your heart and the hearts of those who sit beneath your influence into closer proximity with his.

Just imagine … how many. I know my daughter is. I know the Father is as well.

Peace for the journey,


pilgrims on pilgrimage

They threw their lanyards on my desk. Safe-keeping I suppose. Mom tucking away treasures for later retrieval, a time when things will be remembered. Events remembered. This remembrance.

Pilgrims on pilgrimage.

In thinking about this milestone in their journeys of faith, I think on my own. Those seasons of youth retreats, conference gatherings, and mountaintop moments of kingdom clarification. And while my mother didn’t pack away any “lanyards” of remembrance for me in those earlier seasons, my heart still remembers what it was like to be a young pilgrim on pilgrimage.

Now I am an older pilgrim on pilgrimage. The destination has not changed since the days of my youth, but the route to that destination? Well, it’s not what I had imagined all those many years ago when I first put my heart and my hands to the grace plow. There have been a few detours along the way. Still and yet and to this day, God’s road is before me, pebbles of the gospel truth cradling my scarred feet.

Faith walks on despite missed exits and alternate routes. Sometimes faith rides the high winds of glory. Sometimes faith wallows desperately in the shallows. And sometimes … most times, faith simply walks on. Walks forward. Walks through.

Perhaps I’ll pin these words, this truth to their lanyards so that years from now, when they pull them out of their remembrance boxes (and after life has afforded them each a few detours along the path of grace), they’ll better understand what it is to be a pilgrim on pilgrimage. That their mother at forty-seven was still walking on in faith despite missed exits, despite everything that threatened to stymie her pilgrimage home. Perhaps they’ll need to know that then even more than they need to know it now.

Oh the great consistency of faith that grabs hold of a heart and never lets go!

Oh the certain grip of mercy that keeps hearts upright and willing to believe in the destination even though current scenery is blocking the view!

Oh the limitless love of Jesus that never grows weary of the grace-chase and that never runs out for or away from sinners!

This is what has kept me. This is Who has kept me. What more can I do? Who more can I be?

I am a pilgrim on pilgrimage, just like my children. Faith has brought us thus far. Faith will lead us home. Every last one of us. Billy. Elaine. Nick. Colton. Jadon. Amelia.

Yes, I’ll pin this proclamation to their lanyards so that in the future when their children ask them, “What do these words mean?” they’ll be able to tell them the truth about a woman named Faith Elaine who walked on in faith, despite missed exits and alternate routes … all the way through, home to arms of Jesus.

This is good legacy. This is the best I can give. May God keep and preserve this remembrance in their hearts as they make their pilgrimages of faith. Walk on, sweet ones. Walk always with Jesus.

Peace for the journey,

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