every promise, always kept

We suffer the sale of cheap words, but we buy them still.
Every day their consequence cuts afresh the wound of our failure and exposes all the ways we fall short.

“The hill I’m walking up is gettin’ good and steep
but I’m still looking for a promise even I can’t keep.”

Brandi Carlile can sing. She can sing and boy! can she write. Her song, “A Promise to Keep” has been rolling around in my soul since she released a free EP on Noisetrade. When I listen to this song, my shoulders slump with sadness – a kind of resignation that wraps me in and weighs me down. The words are heavy bundles with long, painful sighs because the notes sing the melody of hurt.

Carlile sings hurt… maybe because she has suffered the sale of cheap words, but she buys them still. Maybe because she feels the consequence of fresh cut failure-wounds and is exposed to all the ways she falls short. It’s a humanity kind of failure – a shortsightedness that presumes another promise spoken, believed, and broken.

My shoulders fold in and my lip shakes a little and I hurt with her for the insufferable exchange – the buying and selling of promises.

I still talk to you in my sleep
I don’t say much cause the hurt runs too deep
I gave you the moon and the stars to keep
but you gave them back to me

The hill I’m walkin up is gettin good and steep
but I’m still looking for a promise even I can’t keep

I still lay on my side of the bed
I dance alone when the last bottle’s spent
memories like a river runnin through my head
I’ll have me an ocean before I’m dead

The hill I’m walkin up is gettin good and steep
but I’m still looking for a promise even I can’t keep

I still whisper sweet words to you
and when I’m busy, or have nothing to do
I pray to god, that my words ring true
and that your words might reach me too

The hill I’m walkin up is gettin good and steep
but I’m still looking for a promise even I can’t keep
I can’t keep it…

My hearts in pieces so please understand
I’ve tried to jump, but I’ve nowhere to land
so give me your heart and I’ll give you my hand
and I’ll try as goddamn hard as I can

The hill I’m walkin up is gettin good and steep
but I’m still looking for a promise even I can’t keep

She is desperate for an impossible promise and her grief is filling up oceans, recklessly hoping there is someone better than she. I get woven in to her grief like I’m knit right into the melody’s sweater. I croon it out my car windows and sing it to the silent roof.

Why can’t I find someone who keeps a promise these days?
Why can’t I keep a promise?

And with my heart freshly beaten, my soul cast down at our dreadfulness, I hear sweet words proclaimed from the pen of Paul.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
(2 Corinthians 1:19-22 ESV)

For the promises of God find their Yes in him (Christ).

Through Christ I can utter my beaten, battered, folded-in AMEN to God for his glorious promises kept to a suffering and obstinate people. Not one of us can sing Carlile’s song and not know her hurt. But, oh! that we might claim the AMEN in Christ – who was the fulfillment of God’s promises and evidence of God’s faithfulness.

God establishes us in Christ, anoints us, puts his seal on us, and gives us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

The hills we walk up will get good and steep and full of suffering. But, even as we sing of our despair in broken promises, let us glory in the God whose promises are all Yes! in Christ. Every promise, always yes. Every promise, always kept.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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