He took my shoulders and He shook my face

“Goldenrod and the 4H stone
The things I brought you when I found out
you had cancer of the bone”

“Your father cried on the telephone
And he drove his car into the Navy yard
Just to prove that he was sorry

“In the morning, through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading

“Oh, the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications you could do without
When I kissed you on the mouth”

“Tuesday night at the Bible study
We lift our hands and pray over your body
But, nothing ever happens

“I remember at Micheal’s house
In the living room when you kissed my neck
And I almost touched your blouse”

“In the morning at the top of the stairs
When your father found out what we did that night
And you told me you were scared

“Oh, the glory when you ran outside
With your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied
And you told me not to follow you

“Sunday night when I cleaned the house
I find the card where you wrote it out
With the pictures of you mother

“On the floor at the great divide
With my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied
I am crying in the bathroom

“In the morning when you finally go
And the nurse runs in with her head hung low
And the cardinal hits the window

“In the morning in the winter shade
On the first of March, on the holiday
I thought I saw you breathing

“All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window

“All the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face
And He takes and He takes and He takes

We sat round a flaming fire, red and orange with warmth
with a false confidence
that the stones there
truly would
keep that flame contained.
With a pecan canopy above weighted down heavy with fall fruit,
I listened to strums, picks and the low melody of a young man, the oldest twin.

He taught himself to play this summer ..
a toil that I absolutely can.not begin to fathom.
And after his foiled attempt at a fake fall that left him with a broken wrist,
he’s taking a sabbatical from instruments
and waiting for healing.
I know he’ll be pleased when he can bend his wrist ….
curl his thumb …
pluck, play and sing.

Here is the song
– lyrics above, aligned right –
sung by the song writer and lyricist: Sufjan Stevens.

Do you hear the mystery of his words? ….. What was she reading … that he glanced across her shoulder?
And the yearning …… he a.l.m.o.s.t touched her blouse ….
Why do we lay our hands upon a friend … a lover …. a sibling, parent or spouse … to find that
” nothing ever happens?”
“The great divide ……. ”
I think of all those years … more than twenty-five …
I prayed for God to make me new from the inside out …
and make me into the Proverbs 31 wife …
who is cherished
but it felt like
nothing ever happened.

I’m drawn to his honesty and the simplicity of the song.
Better that we question and wonder
than become apathetic and query not God.

His final stanza breaks me down.
“All the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face
And He takes and He takes and He takes

There is this fine line, isn’t there …
between the things that He takes
and the things that He allows to be taken.
But, no matter the motivation,
gifts are given … and gifts are taken away.

Without understanding …. I choose to praise.


One thought on “He took my shoulders and He shook my face

  1. It’s tough to remember that God never told Job he was sorry, or gave him a reason for the decisions that were made to change his life drastically forever. God made the decisions that He made and He never makes a mistake. That’s just the way it is. For us to try to understand it is fruitless, imo, however, I have found looking forward toward ministry opportunities, character building (or honing), so many other things that the events in our lives create for us, has been what I’ve used to try to put a spin on it all. Sometimes I can even say I wouldn’t change it even if I could have made the whole negative event disappear. Sometimes I’ve come out the other side and seen such a spiritual maturity and positive change in myself despite the tragedy that I’d never want it to be any different. He’s gracious, all the time, even when we can’t see it. Even if we don’t believe it. Even if we refuse to acknowledge it. I love that He loves us so much He is who He is even if we don’t get that.

    I love you chickie!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s