Pay attention to nagging earworms! They can be helpful

Pay attention to nagging earworms! They can be helpful

There’s a line from a hymn in our Breaking Bread hymnal that keeps repeating itself in my mind like a record stuck in a groove: “Gracious God, you give your life away.”**  As I write this, we are preparing for Holy Week. This makes the text especially poignant, but it is true 365 days a year, year after year into infinity.

You give your life away” – maybe it strikes me so strongly because I don’t easily give things away, and here God is pictured as giving life away. What on earth does a person do with that thought?

Recently a life-long acquaintance died. She was a long-time widow with several adult children who were very dependent on her. I and several others thought often of her as having no life of her own. Literally, day after day she gave her time and money to her grown children and their children. It was very hard to watch her do this with no apparent thought for her own needs, but as I write this, St. Paul’s burst of faith comes to mind. To paraphrase: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) To us observing our friend’s life from the outside, she was sacrificing her own life for others. If we had been observing the situation with the eyes of Christ, that’s exactly what she was doing.

If it’s true that sometimes each of us, consciously or unconsciously, takes advantage of the goodwill of others, maybe we should say we do the same with God’s love, patience, and compassion. Over and over, day in and day out, whether our failings are from ignorance, apathy or self- interest, God excuses our short temper and our ignoring others’ needs.

Holy Week and the entire Easter season are full of special reminders of God’s endless compassion and self-giving. Actually, so is every other day. If ear worms are bits of some reality that stick in our head and won’t go away, our lives are full of visual worms that if we pay attention to them, can be consistent reminders of God’s passionate care for each of us. May Holy Week and Easter be fruitful enrichment of our awareness of God who gave his life for us once and for all, all time and all people.

** Gracious God, ©2009 Jesse Manibusan, publ. by Two by Two Ministries and Spirit and Song®, a division of OCP. Administered by Spirit and Song®, a division of OCP. All rights reserved.

~ Colleen Winston