Notes from Jan

Sunshine for the Soul

April 2, 2022

Yesterday morning, a Polish woman came to help me clean. We talked and she shared how angry and troubled she is over what’s happening to Ukraine and so proud of her country for welcoming so many refugees. After awhile, I put on instrumental music, violin and piano renditions of hymns. She’s Catholic and I wondered if some were familiar to her. So I was surprised when she sang along in Polish, “Down from his Glory.” After awhile I thought, “Is she singing the words I’m singing?”

“Down from His glory, ever living story

My God and Savior came and Jesus was His name.

Born in a manger, to His own a stranger

A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.”

My parents sang this as a duet in church. The grandson of William and Catherine Booth wrote the lyrics but the tune was a popular Italian love song, O Sole Mio. . And then I thought, my Polish friend was probably singing O Sole Mio. (translation: my own sunshine.) Sometimes a good love song comes like a shot of sunshine to the soul.

Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve cried a lot lately. One day I pictured Jesus weeping. John 11:35 states, “Jesus wept.” But it wasn’t a one time happening for Jesus, which is part of why I love these lyrics by Mary Dawson.

“I’ve often heard the carol say that baby Jesus in the hay

Made no crying as He lay upon His manger bed.

But I believe that Jesus cried so He could feel and empathize

With the child that’s deep inside each lonely tear we shed.

Chorus:

When I read that Jesus wept

I know He understands

When I read that Jesus wept I feel His gentle hand

Reaching out with God’s compassion, healing wounds that sin has left

Sacrament of incarnation

Jesus wept.”

So take heart, dear friends. During Lent, it matters to remember Jesus wept. And the man of sorrows still weeps because he understands. Jesus gets it and us no matter what song we sing or how many times we put on a brave face when we’re feeling more lost than found. Or when life seems more hopeless than hope-full.

The song ends with, “He gathers all the tears there are and covers them with grace.”

Your tears.

Mine.

Gathered and covered with Grace.

Nothing’s wasted.

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7 Comments

  • Reply dale April 3, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Thanks Jan,

    Instead of throwing “shade,” Jesus brings us sunshine in Himself. If it matters to us, it matters to Him. There is great comfort in being known and still loved.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 4, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      Yes, my dear friend. Years ago my Mama stitched an sampler for Jud and me. I think it was for our 10th anniversary. It hung in our bedroom and read: “TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IS THE GREATEST JOY.” To be fully known and still loved by God is even greater. comfort and joy Thank you , Dale, for the reminder.

  • Reply Maggie April 4, 2022 at 7:43 am

    When we first went to Israel many years ago, our guide showed us replicas of tear flasks from biblical times. I had never heard of these, but he explained that they were used to literally capture one’s tears, and that perhaps the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears was actually pouring a lifetime of sorrow out upon his feet. I have never forgotten that image. You are so right that our tears are never wasted, dear Jan!
    “You have kept count of my tossings; and put my tears in your bottle.Are they not in your book?” Ps 56:8

    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 4, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you, dear Maggie, for adding to the post with your response and insights. I’m picturing you and Mike in Norway. Bless “em!

  • Reply Wendy April 4, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Oh Jan – how beautiful. Thank you! <3

    • Reply Jan Carlberg April 4, 2022 at 3:14 pm

      You’re welcome. Looking forward to seeing you and Steve in May.

      • Reply Wendy April 5, 2022 at 7:12 am

        Yes!! ❤️

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