It was a beautiful early summer night and I was at my favourite spot, Little River beach. I was about to trade my island home temporarily for a summer job in a hot kitchen at a Ranch camp.
I soaked in the ocean view with all my heart. Then an unfamiliar feeling came, a deep burden for the children there, the campers who would be coming to have fun and hear about Jesus. Perhaps I could describe the feeling as hunger. Hunger for them to experience love as I had. It was at the same ranch as a shy 11 year old that I heard life changing words, “Jesus wants to be your best friend.” Most of my time that summer would be spent washing dishes and making pizza and chicken fingers but something in my heart longed to serve them in a deeper way and experience something new for myself. Life was great, I had no complaints but there was an itch, a restlessness in my spirit. So I dramatically walked to the water’s edge and flung open my arms.
“You can have me God! I am yours!” I don’t remember the exact words, something like that.
And that is when the song came, as I turned to walk home on my familiar path in the woods these words poured out, “help me not to run after the things of this world…”
The rest of the lyrics and what happened in the woods I have shared already in my Treasures in the Darkness story.
Instead of walking home with the excitment of a new song, the unimaginable happened and this piece of music has been associated with trauma ever since. In some ways, my dark experience made the song stronger. I added a second verse and found a depth of God’s presence that I couldn’t have imagined before. I went to the camp two weeks after being attacked and served and healed and saw kids say yes to Jesus.
Over the years sharing the song was powerful but also brought a painful reminder. That joyful innocent girl on the beach was overshadowed by the one who had suffered.
This whole post is leading up to the reason why I am going to share a 1 minute video instead of a 3 or 4 minute one. When I decided to present the song with photos I only included the first verse. The words that I sang walking home, words of wonder and longing. I want to honour that experience and those first few words sung.
Also…. a one minute video takes hours to compile and edit. lol, so it’s a good simple start for this new venture.
One day, I will make a version of the whole song but for now here is Heaven and Earth, part 1.
The audio is from my 2006 cd. I thought about re-recording but there is something authentic in that young voice.
Kudos to Forest Li for staying up late with me last night manueuvering pictures and sounds. And kudos to the amazing photographers from unsplash. Breathtaking pictures await!
Hope you enjoy!
Shalom, Melody Rose