Saturday, April 3, 2010


Every other Wednesday I take a gig somewhere in the Salt Lake Valley on assignment from an organization called Heart & Soul. It’s not always convenient, but it is usually in the afternoon and that’s a good time for my mom to take an outing so more often than not Libby will drive me and Mom and Sherry will ride along. I go wherever they send me, which is usually to a nursing home, or a rehab center, sometimes a school or retirement center. Sometimes I sing and play guitar for little kids, but more often it’s for the generation one or two steps above me. There are not many left who would be two generations above me, people old enough to have grandchildren my age, but there are some. I’ve written about this before in this blog, because the moments are so meaningful to me. I was setting up last week and a woman over to the left was rather irritated. She mumbled and shook her head and I wondered, as I strapped my guitar to my shoulder, if I was going to have to try to sing above her rant. But when I started she looked up, her forehead pursed in a questioning manner. She cocked her head to the side, as if she were lifting her ear to hear better, and then she let out a soft sigh. I looked her in the eye and began to sing “Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds thy hands have made….”

I think of that, in contrast to the anticipation we feel as our dear friends Jason and Erica Gardner labor away in a hospital in New York City, inching their way toward the first breath of their first child, and the first grandchild of Reed and Cindy. That little first breath has been so long awaited. The thought of it got Cindy through her walk through the valley of the shadow of death, her sword cinched at her side as she pushed herself toward the beast called breast cancer, faced him head on, and slew him with every ounce of energy she had. She is reborn herself, her eyelashes returned and her head has a soft layer of fuzz under her baseball cap. She has a bit in common with her soon-to-be granddaughter.

In between that first breath we pray little baby Gardner will take today, and the last sigh so often heard in the homes where I sing, is the place of all good things.

When I set out to write ALL GOOD THINGS my intent was to give every day emphasis to the scripture Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Whether the receiver of His goodness is even a believer doesn’t seem to matter, still the origin of all good things is the Lord himself. But as I wrote, it kept coming back to me that even things that appear difficult, even bad, are in the end vehicles toward good. We think of life being filled with dichotomies, but on further examination it becomes obvious that what at first looks wholly wrong is often the seed to what is beautifully right.

From the lowest of earthly places, in the rawness of a stable with the stench of dung with the non-sterile blanket of hay as a bed, the King of all Kings was first presented to his kingdom. It seems incongruous. But when you think about it the incongruity is part of the majesty of it. The place was undefiled by human hands, it was humble…and he came to live and work with the humble at heart because they were open to what he had to say. It was close to the simple soil of the earth, and to the creatures of that earth which he himself had created. The oldest soul among mankind, the first born of all the spirits of heaven, and therefore the eldest of all the spirits, came to take his throne in the new flesh of a baby.

The shape of the song became a study of contrasts, and I hoped to show how contrasting things become unified in Christ. At least that was my thinking. It probably doesn’t come across that way if you are listening for aesthetic pleasure. If that’s the case, then hopefully the song isn’t distasteful either. But there is more in the lyric if you care to find it.

We are given hard tasks, with long days of labor, and what does the Lord give us for that? Able hands. He doesn’t take away the hard; instead he gives us the ability to deal with it.

We, in our innocence, look at tiny dry seeds, unaware of what they can do, and He says, “Here, place them here. Push them down into the dirty place and give some care. Look what I will make of them.” It only takes one growing season for us to understand how that works. Soon we have whole fields full of amber grain.

When storms come, and there is no shelter to protect us, he gives us the ability to bend in the wind. There is a promise he made us that nothing will come upon us that we cannot, with his aid, survive. Corinthians 10:13.

You catch my drift, hopefully. I feel like explanation is turning into preaching and that is not what I want or intend.

I started writing this post this morning, before we took the kids to the egg hunt and before we colored eggs and before we had the movie night and before I made potato salad for dinner tomorrow. It’s time to let it go, quit analyzing and move on to other tasks. Since I started writing this morning Jason and Erica have delivered a fabulously beautiful dark haired 10 lb 2 oz daughter. Welcome, little one. We share the same air. I breathe you and you breathe me, eventually. We all breathe each other, in joy and sorrow. Same air, passed around, cleansed in the clouds and the sea and the rain.
It’s all good; and we know from whence it came.

All Good Things

All good things
Great and small
King of Kings
He gave them all

Small boy – Old soul
Broken earth – made whole
Look now what the stable brings
Lord of Lords and King of Kings and…


Hard work – Able hands
Small seeds – Good land
Whole fields full of amber grain
Warm sun and Cool rain and…

Wind blows – willow bends
Heart breaks – Love mends
Lullabies on a winter night
Dark skies have starlight and…


Sun set, moon rise
First breaths; Last sighs
And everything in between
All come to good things and….

All good things
Great and small
King of Kings
He gave them all

Tag: King of Kings He gave them all


  1. you amaze me. you have such a way of delivering a message. i now get so much more out of an amazing some. thank you.

  2. Cori, you express so beautifully what I feel. Today we are in the place of all good things - new life is such a miracle and our love overflows. Isn't this what we live and fight for? Thanks, good friend - love you.

  3. Push them down in the dirty place. What an interesting way to open a door. I mean in my head. I just looked out the window at my father, mowing his lawn and saw the sun glinting off trembling leaves. I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't just read this.