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  • Mei Anne Foo

The Art Of Small Talk: Something To Say

A new series where I say what's on my mind, no matter how fragmented and broken, in order to learn the art of small talk NZ's favourite pastime.

micro photography of a microphone
Micro photo of a microphone.
I've got something to say I've forgotten how to pray And I'm finding it hard to believe the truth

Words sung by the band Starfield 10 years ago; ringing true to me today. I'm a scatterbrain these days. I can't think straight, finding it hard to focus. But I know writing helps. Many people, many books have told me to journal. And finally, God told me to do it: To write my wrongs and sing my freedom song.

Music has always been my escape. I wrote down lyrics of songs I loved as a teenager. Everywhere by Michelle Branch; Lucky by Britney Spears; Iris by Goo Goo Dolls; The Reason by Hoobastank; (There's Gotta Be) More To Life by Stacie Orrico the list goes on and on. I filled up an entire book, probably about 300 pages, back to back with words sung! Diligently, I pressed ink on paper day after day. I'd get lost in my "perfect" handwriting (yes, it probably looked like this font right here, block by block but with so much force, it could pass off as braille).

I had loads of cassette tapes too. I had a Sony Walkman, then upgraded to a Discman and started lining my shelves with CDs instead. Eventually, a purple CD-radio-cassette player took pride of place in my bedroom. It was truly the centrepiece. Music was everything to me. It made me feel alive.

So it was only appropriate that God used music to win me over: To show me His love. Why by Nicole Nordeman became my conversion song. My then-boyfriend, now-husband managed to burn the song and other Christian singles into a CD for me, probably a couple of years before I accepted Christ. What I find strange was that I've listened to that song multiple times before but the lyrics only sunk in when I was 18 going on 19. I was in my bedroom, with my purple CD-radio-cassette player-centrepiece on full blast. Whenever I used to recount this story, I would say, "There wasn't anything wrong with my life then, so I don't know why those lyrics affected me the way it did at that very moment." That was not true. There were many things wrong with my life then; an accumulated yet suppressed trove I only recently uncovered. It's not completely clear but in time, when God has chip away at my layers to finally reveal my core, I'll tell those stories.

For now, I want to just acknowledge that music is my medicine, a cocktail of pills God has mixed for me. Melodies calm me, brings me back to life. I thank God for the gift of music, and ultimately, the gift of salvation.

We rode into town the other day Just me and my daddy He said I'd finally reached that age And I could ride next to him on a horse That of course was not quite as wide We heard a crowd of people shouting And so we stopped to find out why And there was that man That my dad said he loved But today there was fear in his eyes So I said, "Daddy, why are they screaming? Why are the faces of some of them beaming? Why is He dressed in that bright purple robe? I'll bet that crown hurts Him more than He shows Daddy, please can't you do something? He looks as though He's gonna cry you said he was stronger than all of those guys Daddy, please tell me why Why does everyone want him to die?" Later that day the sky grew cloudy And daddy said I should go inside Somehow he knew things would get stormy Boy was he right But I could not keep from wondering If there was something he had to hide So after he left I had to find out I was not afraid of getting lost So I followed the crowds To a hill where I knew men had been killed And I heard a voice come from the cross And it said, "Father, why are they screaming? Why are the faces of some of them beaming? Why are they casting their lots for My robe? This crown of thorns hurts Me more than it shows Father, please can't You do something? I know that You must hear My cry I thought I could handle the cross of this size Father, remind Me why Why does everyone want Me to die? When will I understand why?" "My precious Son, I hear them screaming I'm watching the face of the enemy beaming But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know But this dark hour I must do nothing Though I've heard Your unbearable cry The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies Soon You'll see past their unmerciful eyes Look there below, see the child Trembling by her father's side Now I can tell You why She is why You must die"

This is my alter to God, my Living Hope, the spirit of Truth. All glory to Him. Numbers 6:26

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