I heard of a woman once, who when she was with child, she turned and this song swelled in her, her child’s own song, and she would hum it as she washed pots.
Hum it as she did her hair up, hum that song like a beckoning.
And when that woman swayed at the end of her ripening, just before the child came, she had hummed it low between each tightening, how she had hummed that song, her daughter’s very own anthem.
And then she sang it during the nights.
When she got up in the middle of night with babe squalling and flailing her fists, she’d swaddle the little one close and rock her, lean over that bald, soft head and sing her song to her in this shaft of moon.
She sang it during the long days.
When the little girl fell, scraped her knee. When she refused to eat. When the rain pelted and the girl huddled. When the earth spun and the girl turned older. When the dark slunk in at the door and the girl groped for a way through impossible black.
Sometimes the mother’s voice grew hoarse.
Sometimes the mother rocked herself to sleep with the child’s song. I could see it, how she sang it like a prayer.
Sometimes she wondered if anyone heard that song but her.
But when the girl was long and willowy, when her heart had thickened into this long scared callous, when her heart seemed more wall than warm and her arms seemed crossed more into a shield than open like a shelter, the mother had heard it one afternoon under the direct noon day sun — other voices singing the girl’s song too.
The grey crowned woman across the way. The tender, stretching girl, born that same long summer when she had lilted those first notes. The sister, all the sisters singing.
The girl, she had grown deaf and numb and hard to all she was and had been and could be —
But her sisters knew her song.
Her sisters knew the beat of her heart when she had forgotten how to be.
Her sisters knew the rhythm of her return when she didn’t know the road back.
Her sisters knew the lyrics of why she was loved when she couldn’t remember how to live.
Her sisters sang her song — when she had long forgotten the words to herself.
Singing the girl’s song, all of them singing it soft and strong and certain — her sisters singing her back.
Her sisters sang her beauty when she saw herself ugly.
Her sisters sang her wanted when she saw herself broken.
Her sisters sang her hope when she only felt hurt.
Her sisters sang her beloved — when she couldn’t believe.
It could be like this — It could be honest, what her sisters sang:
This is a fallen world. So everyone has broken edges. So everyone is going to hurt you. So commit who you will suffer for.
It could be haunting, what her sisters sang:
Will you love people by halves, breaking their heart?
Or will you love people wholly, holding their only heart?
It could be hope, what her sisters sang:
If you listen close, you can tell you are cared for by someone by how they carry your name on their lips. How your name is safe on their tongue.
And Christ, He names you friend, and God, He calls you redeemed and forgiven, and in Christ, the Three in One, He christens you free of condemnation and accepted and God’s workmanship — and your identity is not in a making a name for yourself but in the name He makes for you out of the shaved off lovebits of His very heart.
Even the trees of the field are singing it and the girl with the shielded heart, she could turn —
Her mother, her sisters, some could hardly sing for the lump of love in the throat, but they, they could raise hands with the sisterhood, the sisterhood beckoning one girl back to the song of who she was and the circle of love that longed to enfold her again…
And they will tell you, that’s when you could hear it —
the girl, the Father’s daughter, her voice warbling like a rising, her voice singing like a brave winging, and they would see her coming, could see the girl coming, remembering the notes of her song, remembering who her Father made her to be, remembering who she was and Whose she was, and how she ran like she was made to fly.
She knew it in the lightness of her bones, what the friendship of women could be:
Sisters will just keep singing your song
Till it perches in your lost places,
Tuning you to what grace is
and the lovesong of your Father
who never stops singing at all.
It’s a true story. Her sisters said that all around her: because we believe — we promise to never stop singing your song.
And because the sisters sang — one woman heard what she didn’t know possible —
her Father rejoicing over her with gladness;
quieting her fears with His love
exulting over her with loud singing — so loud it drowns out all the doubts.
His love ringing her alive right there in her turned ears.
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.” ~Zephaniah 3:17
This weekend nearly 5,000 of your sisters will be gathering in real life in 558 locations around the globe — with (in)RL meetups right around the corner from you. A space to laugh together and be real and extend the hand of friendship — and sing the one song every woman needs to know. That you are loved. That you are wanted. That you matter. That God lavishes love on you.
The body of Christ is a Love Body — come experience it this weekend. Watch at home online Friday night. Meet up on Saturday.It’s entirely free — you know you need this. Be brave. Start here. Hear your sisters singing? They’re singing your song.
Q4U: How do you feel about women friendships? How have you been hurt? How have you been healed?
Will you dare to join an (in)RL gathering this weekend and let your sisters sing over you? (Email and RSS Readers — come join the conversation here?)