Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surrendering to Christmas

The weekend was lovely.  No, exquisite.  Like something I just want to bottle up and keep with me forever.

And I hope you'll permit me to gush a bit with italics in this post, because there's just no other way to be about it all. 

I met Leah at the hotel in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday.  And it was so very Christmas with this fun little gingerbread village downstairs.

We walked to the Taft Theater to hear Joe Henry and Over the Rhine.  And if it were possible to hear Heaven from Earth, then I'm sure we heard the stuff the angels are singin'.

 (Joe's son Levon was disgusting on that sax by the way...)

The night was tender.  We heard Karin share about her momma, a nurse for 40 years.  And how shortly after retirement, she suffered a stroke and has, for the past 9 years, been living in an assisted living facility.  The caregiver becomes the one needing care...

And when Karin shared about all the beautiful people they have met in that place, I laughed and cried.  (You can hear an unofficial version of the song Only God Can Save Us Now which  these souls have inspired here.)  Tragedy and Humor stand shoulder to shoulder, holding hands...fingers laced together.

The music was incredible.  I found I lost time.  I lost track of where sounds came from.  At one point I looked at the drummer, wondering how he was making that sound.  And realized...it was the bass. 

And I am still amazed at how each musician stood out...and yet no one stood out.  Their music was so perfectly balanced.  Like a spoon-full of yummy where you can't quite finger the individual spices because they so compliment one another, so well blended together. 

Leah brought the warm southern breeze of her soul to mine.  I was refreshed by our time and by her presence.  You are lovely, my friend.

And if you love OTR (Sara!), then you just have to see them at St. Elizabeth's.  (Please excuse my amateur photography...and thank you for allowing me to share despite imperfection.)

And it held a bit of extra-special about it because Jon and the kids met us there.

And sharing our love for Over the Rhine with our littles was divine

Lovely.  Exquisite.  Tender.  Incredible.  Divine...and all the things that are Christmas.  Humble and sincere.  Majesty in a manger.  Kings and peasants alike, speechless and in awe of the glory of Heaven...amazed that it can fit in such small packages.  And this weekend was just that.  Broken people aware of their frailty and learning to love by way of failure...and getting up to try again.

Let me leave you for now with the lyrics to one of my favorites off OTR's new album, The Long Surrender.

All My Favorite People
All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Some prayers are better left unspoken
Just want to hold you and let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other, try to rise above
We are not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
We’re all late bloomers when it comes to love

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Orphan believers, skeptical dreamers step forward
You can stay right here, you don’t have to go

Each wound you’ve received is just a burdensome gift
Gets so hard to lift yourself up off the ground
But the poet says ‘you must praise the mutilated world’
We’re all working’ the graveyard shift, we might as well sing along

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
As for your tender heart, this world’s gonna rip it wide open
It ain’t gonna be pretty but you’re not alone

Cause all my favorite people are broken
believe me my heart should know
Orphan believers, skeptical dreamers, you’re welcome
You’re safe right here, you don’t have to go


  1. love the trees. and you win... i wish i would've gone ;)

  2. Oh, I would LOVE to see them at St.Elizabeth's, but I'm not sure which have more of my attention, the windows or the band :)

    You and Leah look fabulous! What a wonderful memory...