lifted higher

Perhaps, after just finishing the audio book, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, as part of an agreed upon reading program which Will and I are endeavoring to complete, and then watching the movie tonight with Hannah, who might consider it her favorite, I’m just a little romantically overloaded, but I’m feeling a desire to be a bit vulnerable.

I experienced a few moments of authentic worship this morning in a unique setting, and honestly, upon reflection, I’m a bit surprised and refreshed by thoughts of it.  Somehow, in the midst of such an experience, the incessant noise of questions and doubts and busy-minded distractions, which have haunted me, more so in the last several weeks than I would have desired, fade into nearly imperceptible mid-day shadows.

I’m not sure of the title, or the writer, or the publisher of the recently popular chorus we sang We sang a song from Hillsong, called Stronger, led by my sincerely inspiring sister-in-law, Angie, and at this late hour, I certainly won’t be so diligent and proper as to look it up for you, but and the chorus goes something like this:

You are stronger, you are stronger, sin is broken; you have saved me.  It is written, Christ is risen.  Jesus, you are Lord of all!

Then, the bridge simply repeats these phrases:

Let your name be lifted higher, be lifted higher, be lifted higher.

Somewhere, in the midst of the first time through the words of that bridge, standing there in the wonderfully crowded, beautiful new setting of Zoe’s coffee shop with a couple hundred acquaintances and near strangers singing along nearby, with Meghan held tightly to me in my left arm, with my right arm raised to the ceiling, and with the sun shining through the giant skylight above my head, emotion overwhelmed me.

My voice cracked, and tears began to fall from my eyes.  I was forced to stop singing while I regained my composure enough to rejoin the chorus, and meanwhile was able to hear the voices of others fill the room from floor to ceiling, and beyond, I’m sure.

Even now, just in rehearsing these thoughts for the sake of this glaring, objective computer screen, the flood wells up all over again.

Why is that?

So let your name be lifted higher, be lifted higher, be lifted higher!

So let your name be lifted higher, be lifted higher, be lifted higher!

Oh let your name be lifted higher, be lifted higher, be lifted higher!

I’m not sure I can articulate the why.  I’m not sure I want to translate the why into English.

I’m not even sure I like that song.  I’m afraid I’m getting old and losing control of my emotions.

Here, you try it and see how you feel:

I am entirely sure of something, although it’s surety may also defy words:  There’s something about that name.

I need Jesus.  I’m desperate for him; driven to him; thirsty for him, disregarding all of the seeming piety such phrases might carry.  And, somehow, I believe that as that name, His name, is lifted, and magnified, and exalted, and given it’s utter due . . . well, everything is different.  The answer to it all is in there; in that name being lifted.  Somewhere in there.

It’s like the faint cry of hope that does not disappoint from a manger, and a baby named Emmanuel.  It’s like a voice in a burning bush saying, “I’ve heard the cries . . . and I’ve come down to deliver them.”  It’s like . . . well, maybe it’s like what heaven ought to be and would be if only we could keep ourselves from trying to explain what it’s like.

Maybe it’s like the deepest kind of soul-satisfying, overpowering love discovered so reluctantly by Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, in spite of their pride and prejudice.

Maybe this is a just an emotionally inspired, sappy, awkward memo I’ll regret in the morning.  Maybe.

7 thoughts on “lifted higher”

  1. Dale- During Alan’s sermon yesterday Pride & Prejudice came to my mind. In my view there’s some pretty classic truth-telling by Elizabeth when Darcy first proposes and then Darcy responds with his truth-telling letter. Even though both truth-tellings are less loving than Alan advised, there was still power in the truth. Elizabeth’s reaction to the letter is (roughly from memory) “’til then I never knew myself”. And of course, having read the book, you know the rest. I can’t quite grasp the enormity of Jesus being The Truth, but seeing the power of truth-telling in relationships, even fictional ones, helps me get a glimpse of it.


  2. I know how hard it is to explain when a song moves you, and it goes beyond just the meaning of the words of the song to something utterly inexplicable, almost like you have gone to another place where the words mean something more than they did on your average everday experience and have more power…but you did a good job bringing us to that other place I think.


  3. Thanks for the great start to my morning, Dale….music is such a wonderful gift! Nothing like a song, lyrics & music combined, can take all thoughts, feelings & emotions & funnel them into one place. People from all places can be brought together by one song, regardless of language or circumstance….it’s such an amazing experience when a song grabs you & puts you where you need to be right at that moment….I LOVE it!

    & bravo on being ‘man enough’ to do Pride & Prejudice….my favorite book of ALL time. Good for Hannah to put that out to you…..every woman loves Mr. Darcy & every woman gets creepy, greasy feelings when they consider Mr. Collins….& every man MUST feel sorry for Mr. Bennet being surrounded by such a bunch of women all day & everyday!!



  4. while the text is always up to the task of challenging me to be more and stop being such a baby… i love the way you are leaving some text struck through…. (i think we talked about that for our collaboration a bit and it seems to be a tool you are gaining confidence with!) i miss you and the rest of the fellows greatly and i’m hoping to join you in the beginning of January (it would be the second…i hope you will be at the coffee house). Thanks for being my friend and hero!


  5. i love that song. was so glad we sang it sunday. i love the songs that are about jesus and how his sacrifice on the cross brought us back to god. let his name be lifted higher.


  6. There is something bold about talking to God. I mean directly to God.
    Worship songs addressing God as “You” force one to speak to and not speak about. It’s in those moments I feel poetically small, things are right, and I’m singing with the angels.


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