Saturday, February 1, 2014

Michael W. Smith

Anyone reading this may wonder what in the world Grandma's journey has to do with Michael W. Smith.  And others may wonder who  Micheal W. Smith is. 
Michael W. Smith is a Christian artist that has been around for quite awhile.  I have loads of his CD's.  My family heard them all the time. His Christmas albums play in our house for the entire Christmas season.  One Christmas song is especially special to us because  it was a part of our church's Christmas concert and Kimberly was the soloist in it-at age 10! Many of his songs are iconic Christian songs used in churches around the world. People are still singing them during worship time. As he said at the concert, "I've been doing this a long time."

I had a chance last week to go to his concert at the Kennedy Center. This concert was special because it included a full orchestra and choir, something he does not usually do.
 Besides the miracle of getting into downtown DC and back home safe and sound by myself, the music, the words of songs, the words of Michael W. Smith, brought me back to what really grounds my life-God.
In this season of grieving, I feel like there is a cloud over my head at times. I don't know if I am coming or going.  My friend at work told me yesterday she could tell I was "spinning". Along with the loss of Branch, I face the loss of my job because the amazing school that I work at is having to close.  Life goes on, but I sometimes wonder if I have the strength to face it.  
But then there was the concert; songs with words that brought me back to show me that I don't need to rely on my strength in the first place.

Here are just some of the words that touched my heart:
Holy Words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart...
Ancient words, ever true
Changing me and changing you,
We have come with open hearts,
Oh, let the ancient words impart. 
(Ancient Words, by Michael W. Smith)

Another song that touched me was Great is the Lord. I am not sure how old this song is, I know I have sung it in groups many times.  It puts my focus back on what is true in spite of loss.
Great is the Lord, He is holy and just
By His power we trust in His love
Great is the Lord, He is faithful and true
By His mercy He prove, He is love.
Great are you Lord and worthy of glory
Great are you Lord and worthy of praise.
(Great is the Lord, by Michael W. Smith)

There were so many more, Christmas songs, instrumental songs, songs by the choir, songs to sing along with. The entire evening was one that brought me back to years of listening to God speak through music and now holding me through this time of uncertainty and loss, saying once again, "You can trust me, even when you cannot see what is around the corner."

One last song touched my heart in a very special way.  It was an instrumental piece entitled Giving from the album Freedom.
It was beautiful, quiet, sweet, touching-it reminded me of Branch for some reason.  It made me think of the beauty of his face, his hands, his whole little self.  Of holding him, of him grasping my hand, of his soft cheeks that I kissed every time I held him.  I hope Michael W. Smith doesn't mind, but in my head that song will always be Branch's Song for me. 

I end this post with being thankful.  Thankful for music, thankful that God speaks in so many ways, thankful that He gave me a chance to be comforted and strengthened through the words and gift of music. 


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