Saturday, March 6, 2010


In an attempt to make our children aware that our cushy lives were not the norm, we called Davis County Volunteer Services every December and found a family who was struggling to make ends meet. We shopped and wrapped and gathered our presents in a pile, then loaded them in bags and into the car. I recall one year when the kids were old enough to finally get the real gist of what we were doing. We drove up to a little house set deep into a field along Gentile Street in Layton. It was late evening, the only light around the house being the reflection of a sliver of the moon after we turned out our headlights and turned onto the gravel driveway. The kids hefted big black bags full of the gifts, one child on each side, and quietly laid them on the front porch. We all looked at each other, nodded our heads, John rang the doorbell and we RAN! Four little noses pressed against the car windows to see who opened the door. I don’t remember if they saw anyone, but I remember the heart-pumping good energy of the act. I have no idea if it really had any effect on the kids. But it did change me.
I have been changing now for five decades. (True confessions of a birthday girl.)  It takes effort to let oneself be changed. It can get to feeling pretty safe keeping things at status quo, which is of course a lie contrived by He Who Wants Us To Be Stagnant. Sometimes it takes a whole big lot of effort to make good change happen. Best, in my experience, to start with little things, and it is usually best and most comfortably achieved when we serve others. Reminder to self.

It also takes effort to hear the whisperings of divine voices. We generally, in our humanness, pick how we want to serve according to our own comfort level. That’s not bad, by any means. It’s still service. But higher level service is directed by those heavenly voices alone. It takes true wisdom to hear them.

Wise Men Seek Him Still is pretty self explanatory in its lyric. It’s actually pretty fun to be a songwriter because it is perfectly appropriate to pretend. I pretend to be on a camel. I pretend to actually know the scriptures and prophecy. I pretend to see the baby Jesus. I get to add little thoughts like the baby having the looks of his mother and the vision of his Father. Pretty fun, though it does take a lot of manipulating to make it fit in meter and rhyme. I was able in verse 2 to preserve the memory of going to the edge of town with my children and doing an anonymous good thing. I keep my kids little when I put them in a song.

An editor from the Church News called the year after the album came out and asked if they could use the lyric to this song on their cover. Of course I said yes. It made me feel good that someone “got it”. Not that it’s that hard to get, but I just sometimes wonder if anyone does. I have confidence issues, sadly.

I plug along in this life, honestly feeling like I am jerking forward and backward atop a lumbering camel. I hope, regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable the journey is, I still try to use wisdom in my choices.

(with chords...capo as probably used but I am not remembering right now)
They made their way through the desert sand
Em C
Till they came upon the holy land
A little town, oh little town of Bethlehem
They turned away from everything
Em C
To pay their tithes to the newborn king
G D G Gsus G
They were bound for a little town called Bethlehem
They knew the signs and from their youth
G F#/D Em
They searched the skies for light and truth
Am7 D G Gsus G
They covered every valley, every hill
To a gentle child in a humble place
G F#/D
His Father’s eyes, his mother’s face
Am7 C D D sus D
And wise men seek him still

So I make my way to the edge of town
Through the Christmas lights and the Christmas sounds
To the humble door of the tired and poor and give to them
And in the giving I receive
And works give life to my belief
Like men of old who learned to mold their will
And through his words I’ll know his face
Who lived and died in a state of grace
And wise men seek him still

Through the desert sands or the drifting snow
Where the Spirit leads, that’s where I will go
Like men of old who left their gold in Bethlehem.

1 comment:

  1. The lyric is perfect.

    And so is the wisdom.

    You always make me cry.