Daily Word of Grace # 141 (September 29, 2020)
Most of the song titles on Pearl Jam’s 1991 epic debut album Ten were, like the title of the album, a single word—i.e., “Once,” “Alive,” “Jeremy,” etc.—and this became a bit of a joke. In response, on their sophomore 1993 album Vs. they included a song entitled, “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.” It is a moving song about someone coming to grips with her mortality: “I seem to recognize your face, haunting, familiar yet I can’t seem to place it, cannot find the candle of thought to light your name. Lifetimes are catching up with me. All these changes taking place. I wish I’d seen the place, but no one’s ever taken me. Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.” And yet at the end of the song the elderly lady actually recognizes the one speaking to her: “My God it’s been so long, never dreamed you’d return, but now here you are and here I am.” Like that elderly lady, every one of us has to come to grips with our mortality, complete with its accompanying sense of “lifetimes are catching up with me” and “all these changes taking place.” And yet, God meets us right there, as we stand disoriented behind the counter, with a demeanor that also has a one-word title: “Love.” And because of God’s love, just like that elderly lady, we too will one day recognize God’s face (1 Corinthians 13:12) in the fullness of God’s presence—“now here you are and here I am”—in a place where hearts and thoughts never fade away.
Love and Prayers,