“Sweet Forgiveness”

I walk into the room holding my guitar and a pink notebook.  Slightly disheveled, I hear the doors close behind me about the time I look up to see eleven people starring at me.  Not talking.  Not moving, just starring and waiting.

“God, only you can do this,” I whisper to myself and sit down in the one empty seat that has obviously been held out for my arrival.

Knowing that our time is short, I suggest we jump right in and skip the niceties.  All heads nod in agreement.  We know why we are there, to heal.  I give them the smallest amount of background information and we are off.   My breathing settles. 

The room is full of regular people, the kind that go to Starbucks and church, the ones who buy groceries, wash laundry, and occasionally, if the stakes are high enough, play the lotto.   These are everyday people, and like everyday people, they are broken hearted and real.   Trust me, right there under the surface of almost everybody in this world, there is a story you would not believe.   As we go around the circle, they share, bits of the tape running in their minds, the beliefs they’ve developed from a lifetime of trying to disprove ‘the story’.   You know the one, it’s the one thats full of shame, that voice constantly criticizing us.   It says things like:

“YOU, aren’t good enough.  YOU don’t make enough money.  YOU’RE fat.  YOU’RE too skinny.  YOU will never be loved.   Something is wrong with YOU.  YOU’RE a drunk.  YOU’RE a loser.  Of course he left YOU.  Of course she hates YOU.  How could YOU do that?  Who do YOU think YOU are?………………..”   

And on and on it goes add infinitum.   

I listen.  I quietly pray in the silent moments, “help me to really hear them.” 

Then I ask, “what comes up for you when I say the word FORGIVENESS?”

Tears start to fall.  Everybody wants it….FORGIVENESS.   The more we talk, the more real they get.  I strum my guitar looking for a melody, listening to their words, their heartache, their self doubt, self hatred, and stories of self abuse. 

It’s strange really, how we all think we are the worst one, the one who did the worst thing.   We aren’t.  We don’t have that much power and we just aren’t that unique.  Hiding keeps us from knowing this.  For this moment, together, in the room, no one is hiding. 

God shows up.  (And as my friend says, “and when He shows up, He shows out!)

After about two hours, I sing to them what I’ve heard.  We hear our story differently when it’s sung to us.  Music is the way the heart connects to the brain.  Music lets us believe something new, ask for something more, and tell the story that would otherwise stay trapped in our bones. 

“Most people die with the music still in them.” – O.W. Holmes

Here is the song………

The Song Workshop Music Downloads

May you love and be loved, always.  Tyler