As I sat in the huge cathedral, drinking in the Glory, listening to the story of a life lived in faith, a new life in heaven, a life gone from earth, the song came to mind: Broken Hallelujah. I have only known the Leonard Cohen version of the song and have just discovered that there are a number of completely different versions of this song. They all speak to the broken offerings we bring to God. The tone of each version appears similar in its desperation. I am not desperate. In fact, I am feeling very held. Yet I still bring my broken Hallelujah.
This Christmas and New Year’s season has been one fraught with medical emergencies and flus and fevers. Three trips to emergency in the course of four days, one surgery, one EKG, tests for malaria and Ebola, adverse drug reactions and confusion, one funeral, one child vomiting, a family fraught with fevers. The days have passed in a surreal fashion, low on sleep and high on stress and strain.
Yet through it all, there has always been hope and God and faith. The lyrics from Mandisa’s Broken Hallelujah describe the sentiment well:
Yet I trust in this moment
You are with me somehow
And you’ve always been faithful
So Lord, even now
When all that I can sing
is a broken Hallelujah
When my offering
is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration
will rise from these ruins
and I will worship you
and give you thanks
even when my only praise
is a broken Hallelujah
So today out of the ashes of exhaustion and a household of sickness I offer up my broken Hallelujah’s! God has been with me through each moment of this past week even when I have felt like the white ball on the pool table, bouncing from crisis to crisis with never enough hands to attend to all in need. Yet we managed. And still it continues, and time is so limited and all I want to do with my miniscule bit of extra energy is write and praise and sing Hallelujah!
Why am I taking pictures of ice outside windows and of cathedral after funeral and paper flowers made as a get well offering? Because these are my broken Hallelujah’s. These speak to me of the One who holds me through all of this. And it is to Him alone that I give my praise.
Thank you Lord for all of your offerings of beauty in the midst of the ashes of this week.