Doorkeeper (Original Song)

The truth is, Peter and I had signed up for one too many all-nighters. I was drooping over the piano as Andy Wright strummed sleepily, and even Peter’s boundless energy had petered out, so to speak. Outside, Cambridge’s partygoers were just getting started, but inside the Round Church, we were winding down. The end of our shift ticked sluggishly towards us when, two minutes before we would have locked up and cycled homewards, an unforeseen event occurred.

One of the aforementioned partygoers, a young and decidedly inebriated man, wandered into the church! Making an unsteady beeline for one of the pews, he sat down and stared contemplatively at the ceiling. There was a moment of frozen surprise on our part, and then, with characteristic suddenness, the shekinah glory fell. As we got our second ‘wind’, which turned out to be the Biblical pneuma variety, I started to hammer enthusiastically at the piano while Andy was transformed into a flamenco guitarist. Peter began to sing the words of Psalm 84 at the top of his lungs. I guess the Holy Spirit, evangelist that He is, wanted this young man to see something of the joy of heaven!

The young man turned an unsteady gaze on us and came right out with it: “Why are you so… happy? There’s something different here, something different about you.”

An excellent question! Barely able to believe our good ‘luck’ at such an easy opening, we proceeded to share the good news of Jesus with him as simply as we could. “It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us joy!”

“Ah, yes… no. But what is it? There’s something… something different about you. Where am I?” He wasn’t lucid enough to grasp the Third Person of the Trinity, but then, how many of us are?

It has been a spiritually difficult season since the traumatic delivery of my little one. The almost constant pain and exhaustion have rendered me incapable of much profundity in my thoughts, prayers or Bible reading, and yet in my groaning, I believe the Spirit is offering up perfect and articulate prayers to the Father. In my emotional dazedness, He gives me windows of unadulterated joy, like the one in which this video was taken. The Holy Spirit was the Author of our song of joy that night, and He is the reason there is joy in our singing today.

Sparrow (Audrey Assad Cover)

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong

Sometimes when I sing this song to my son, I am declaring it triumphantly, feeling faith rise like an impenetrable shield against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – at other times I am wielding it like a battle axe against the allied armies of emotional discouragements and physical ailments that have besieged me (and still are!) these past six weeks.

As you can probably ascertain, I was in the former state of elation when this video was taken, grinning cheek-splittingly in my gratitude and joy. In a happily ironic twist, the trials of this season seem to be writing on my heart in permanent marker what was only inscribed in ball-point pen before: God is good and He loves me.

I could not explain to you the rational steps that led from the difficulties of our situation to the clarity of that realisation – then again, God doesn’t explain in Romans 8:28 how exactly He works all things together for good. He doesn’t explain to Job the battle that was won in the heavenlies. I guess some things are gloriously inexplicable.

May the knowledge of His love be inscribed in indelible ink on your heart today.