Weakness and Sea-birds


I just love the reminders that God gives me every now and then that even though I’m weak, he can use that. Or… maybe I don’t love those reminders, but I always appreciate them looking back, and, when I’m lucky, in the moment.

Last weekend I was feeling sick as a dog* for all three of the worship services I had to lead. The last song of the worship set right before the message was a song that is normally pretty easy for me to sing, but this time it took every fiber of my being to get all the notes out.

You know what, it felt great. I felt like I meant it so much more. I felt that maybe people could tell that I meant it even more. Yeah, I just about crashed and burned when I got home on Sunday afternoon after the services were over, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to just “go through the motions” for even one moment. It was impossible not to really mean every word, and in the last song in the service, when I got to the lyric “You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same” it struck me nearly to tears every time, in practice before Saturday’s service and at all three services on Sunday. That’s rare for me. It makes me wonder sometimes why we don’t actually pray for the opportunities to be weak so that Jesus can be strong in us.

And it reminded me of the puffins. I learned while I was in Alaska last year that a lot of the seabirds who dive to feed under the water, like puffins, don’t actually have hollow bones like most birds. Their bones are solid. So… when they do fly (which they don’t do much) it takes a tremendous amount of effort just to take off. I remember seeing one basically running across the water, desperate to get into the air and fly. I just barely got my camera trained on the bird as it was taking off. I will bet you that once he got into the air, he appreciated his brief flight way more than your average sparrow does… every moment. Strength in weakness… sounds familiar…

*I don’t know why we say “sick as a dog”, when my dogs are sick, they are so good at hiding it…


6 thoughts on “Weakness and Sea-birds

  1. Nikki W says:

    As I stood outside the worship center doors in the hallway and heard your voice tears of JOY filled my eyes. I was coaching 3-5th graders Sat eve service so did not witness that you were ill, but knowing you and your voice I could tell. You sounded stronger in Spirit and beautiful, you were as I call it ‘in the zone’. If that is what you call weakness……………it becomes you. To me, especially in my situation, weakness has proven to be the strength to stand by God’s grace alone and how blessed are we who are ‘weak’. Now if only we could be weak enough to love all with that grace. My brother, I love you and hope you are healing physically.
    Peace and Love to you, Kathleen, and the pooches

  2. Andrew Hamm says:

    Do we learn much of anything when things are going well? Do we grow in our faith when it’s easy? Do we learn of our stregth in God when our striving is effortless? I don’t think so.

    Screwtape says we do all of our growing in the valleys, not the peaks.

    Bruce Cockburn says “Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.”

    I hope you’re feeling better.

  3. Andrew Hamm says:

    Well good, because now I’M sick!

    It was my turn to learn the virtue of struggling through congestion, coughing, and laryngitis while leading musical worship yesterday. The result was that it was the tightest, cleanest, and most anointed Sunday I’ve been at Redeemer. But I sure did burn myself out in the morning…

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