Memorial Stone

This is my stone.

This is the stone I am erecting as a memorial.

Years later, I will return to this place

--maybe you will, too--

And I will remember.

I will remember the feel of my not-yet-calloused fingers pressing keys to form these words.

I will remember my tears of inadequacy and defeat.

I'll remember the pain.

Time will tell what perspective I will have when I come back.

I hope I'll be looking down from the mountain that I now squint up at.


So here's the thing.

Here's the truth.

Lyme disease.

It has made my hands trembling, twitching, weak shadows of things.

At least I think so.

I actually cannot promise myself that these hands will work again if and when I get better.

Some days I think they're ruined for good.

Most days.

These hands have caused me to give up even the smallest of dreams.

They stopped me short of conceiving the tiniest of notions of big dreams.

I wouldn't even let myself think about such things.

Such impossible, beautiful things.

But though I could stop my thoughts, I couldn't stop that little ache of yearning within me.

My chest contracts when I hear certain songs; when I watch certain people play and perform, but I never let myself think thoughts of hope, longing, or even envy.

It would hurt too much.

I lost the strength to dream of the impossible or improbable.

The unlikely, the uncertain.

The scary.

Somehow I wound up with friends who dreamed for me.

They'd offer encouragement, advice ...

One went farther.

She gave me words straight from Jesus.

Scary words.




She dared speak, "Guitar."


Remember those hands?

I currently do not have the power to exert strength from three fingers at once.

In fact, if I push two hard enough, the third one shakes.

The fourth forgets how to move at all.

And let's not forget they hurt like the dickens.


I responded in disbelief, sarcasm, frustration ...

Meanwhile my thoughts consisted of:

No. No. no no no noooo nononononononono. No.

Is this woman insane?

Is God?

Neither relented.

They bombarded me with big words and dreams for hours.


She cheered me on and supported me til I was in tears.

So I relented.

I still can't play G yet.

That was the third chord my brother taught me.

The most essential one.

One of the easiest.

It just requires three fingers that work.

Simple enough.

I didn't have that ingredient, so I found a substitute:

A three-in-one God who gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless

He likes miracles.

He also likes using the people who were thought of as useless,

even if only by themselves.

I still have to close my eyes and try not to cry sometimes while attempting G.

Last night I cried and yelled a lot.

His mercies were new with the morning.

I cried a lot and prayed.


My dreams, ambitions, brokenness, feeble strength, pride, anger ... everything.

I dared believe He could use or remake it all.

His power is perfected in weakness.

So this is my stone.

This is the landmark of my life that I will point to when people ask.

This is me saying that anything I do can never be done well in my own strength.

This is me saying that were I to play a song perfectly on an instrument, you'd better believe it would be a miracle.

That I am nothing and He is all.

That nothing I have is my own; all of it given; every thing grace.

Though God may heal me, may I never forget my brokenness.

My helplessness.



May I never depend on myself.

Him alone.



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