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Steven S. Billings

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

THE ORPHAN CLUB

With Mother's Day just passing, and looking ahead to Father's Day, I have a nagging sense that I am alone in this world. It's not true, of course. I do have family, albeit spread all over God's green Earth from Florida to New York to California, and many parts in between. And I have friends far and wide and friends near and dear. But there's something about being without your parents that is disconcerting.

My mother often said that losing one parent is hard, but losing the other is a whole new "ball of wax." I quite agree. If I had questions about my father after he died, I could always ask my mother. What would Dad have thought of such-and-such? Did Dad like such-and-such? Did Dad know so-and-so? And so on. And Mom always had the answer. Now who do I ask? And who do I ask about my mother? I suppose I could ask her siblings, but somehow that just isn't the same. Oh, I do take comfort in being able to sit with my Aunt Donna who is so VERY much like my mom and just sort-of soak-in the "Joyce-ness" of her. And reminiscing about days gone by indeed reveals things to me about my mom that I never knew. And here, I think is the answer to this whole business of feeling like an orphan. We band together with others who have suffered the same or similar losses, and we find comfort.

Something like this must have happened among Jesus' followers after His ascension. They had traveled, lived, ate, slept, studied, with Him, for as much as three years for some of them. He had become their life, and now that life was gone. How they must have missed their daily interaction with Him! Think of Mary, His mother. Her baby was gone. How it must have comforted her to sit with His disciples, His apostles, especially Peter, James and John, the inner circle. They must have commented about His laugh, His smile, His touch, His warm and winning ways, His conviction, His awesome power as the very Son of the living God. And how blessed were these men to have Jesus' own mother in their midst! The stories she must have shared about His childhood how the angel announced His coming, what He was like as a baby, how He grew as a small child, the things He said and did as a teenager, and so on. What a blessing that would be! Wouldn't you love to sit and chat with Mary for an hour!? I know I would.

So, too, may we and we do! gather together to speak of those things that we share in common with our Savior. What a blessing to be able to hear each other's stories about what Christ has done and continues to do for each of us. What a privilege to kneel together at His table, receiving together His own body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. And so we find that we are not really orphans after all.

8:55 am edt

Friday, May 5, 2006

CAPE FEAR

No, this isn't about the movie of the same name, or about some kind of phobia regarding shoreline topography.  It's about growing up feeling the need to be a hero.  Whether this role is self-imposed, whether it comes from a sincere desire on the part of parents, whether others feed into it and encourage it -- these things are all items of speculation.  The reality is: it's been a tough issue for me.  It has contributed to a great many of the troubles I've had in my life, as it inspired me to get involved in situations that were not healthy for me.

 
Some have asked, upon hearing the demo of this song: "Who are you mad at?"  The answer: Me.  Thank God there is forgiveness and healing.  The awareness of this tendency has brought a great deal of healing all by itself.  But there is more to come, I'm afraid.
 
As usual, the demo can be found on the Music & Me page.

CAPE FEAR
by Steven S. Billings
10-31-2005

Chorus

I ain't gonna wear no cape for you
'Cause I ain't no Superman.
I'll do the best that I can do;
It's all that one man can.

I ain't gonna climb no cross for
And give up my life's blood,
'Cause it's been done,
And I ain't the one.

Verse 1

Look at that lovely baby
Bouncin' on Mama's knee.
Poor little kid ain't got a clue
What he was born to be.

It's gonna take him years, in fact
Before he learns to see:
Mom and Dad had this little boy
To save their family.

He loves to play the hero;
It's the role that he knows best.
Everybody loves him;
They all call him "blessed."

They don't even know they use him
And suck up his energy.
And he don't even know he's got a weight around his soul
'Cause he don't know no other way to be!

CHORUS

Verse 2

Look at that lonely husband
Wonderin' what went wrong.
Poor old boy spent fifteen years
Forgettin' how to sing his song.

He thought he was her savior,
What she'd needed all along.
He thought he could handle everything;
He thought he was that strong.

He tried to be her hero;
It's the role that he knew best.
He thought it would make her love him,
It would feather their love-nest.

But it was he who needed rescuing
From his desire to please.
'Cause he don't even know it's got a grip around his throat
And it's been there so long he loves the squeeze!

CHORUS

Bridge

Changin' how you live
Ain't an easy thing to do.
Havin' my eyes opened was a shock
That I lived through.

I ain't goin' back to things
The way they used to be.
Now that I am free, no cape for me.
'Cause I can't do it!

Last Chorus

I ain't gonna wear no cape for you
'Cause I ain't no Superman.
I'll do the best that I can do;
It's all that one man can.

Jesus climbed that cross for
And gave up His life's blood,
Now it's all done;
He's the one.

1:50 pm edt

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For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21)

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