I was recently working on lyrics for a song or poem that was rattling around the wilderness of my mind and generally annoying me with the desire to be expressed in language. So I gave in to the urging and started trying to put artistic, linguistic strokes of color into such a form as would give life to my idea. It had been awhile since I undertook this type of endeavor and I found myself, oddly, at a loss for words. Well, that’s not exactly true, I had words, just not the right words. I was at the end of a phrase that needed to contain this particular concept of grace, and I was seeking for the perfect expression…..oh, and I needed it to rhyme! Now I’m no Fezzik but I have been known to lay down a few rhymes in my time so I really thought nothing of it, initially. But as the moments dragged on into days I begin to feel the familiar desire to move past an obviously failed project and onto a new thing. Then a friend of mine asked me if I had a rhyming dictionary.
Now, I had heard of a rhyming dictionary but never actually used one. I knew I had access to one or more online so I told him, “Sure! I know all about them!” Yeah, well, I didn’t want to look stupid did I? So I publish my ignorance now as a confession of sorts. In any case, as I was looking at an online rhyming dictionary a few days later, it occurred to me that there were days when I needed one for my life. You know what I mean? How you get to the end of the day or the week and something happens that completely throws off the rhythm and rhyme of your life? You would love to finish the phrase with exactly the right expression that’s going to bring everything back into form; that’s going to make all the ugliness of the week somehow make sense and be beautiful? That would be amazing! So, I follow Jesus, He’s like my Rhyming Dictionary.
Now don’t get ahead of me, I don’t mean at the finale of every crisis I get this perfect understanding of the big picture making all the pain go away; nor do I get some blissful happy feeling when suddenly, just when I thought everything would be perfect, it’s not. Nope, sometimes life just sucks. There are times when the picture is fuzzy, the plot doesn’t make any sense, your heart is broken and you can’t even find the right word to complete the last stanza with a beautiful picture and a fitting rhyme. But then I remember, Jesus is my Rhyming Dictionary, in fact, my Perfect Rhyme. This is one of the many reasons that I choose to live a life of faith and that my faith has found its expression, meter and theme in Jesus. He simply rhymes my life. His grace reminds me that the song is not over with each tragedy; that my really bad week doesn’t have to steal my joy; that I don’t have to live without hope; and that my grasping, selfish poems makes sense and He has made a place for them in the grandest of symphonies. My worst days can be my best and beauty does indeed rise from ashes.
Hmmm. What rhymes with ashes? Sashes? Lashes? Crashes? Trashes? Bashes? Dashes? Rashes? Ewww, rashes.