Blue Skies (Above My Shame)
Live recording at Vaxholms Church, Sweden
I don't believe that God has an impossible blueprint for us to be his temple through pre-established lines for perfection or pre-established sketches for the dwelling of his "holy spirit". He has simply called us to fulfil our purpose and through this, build the temple that we will become, while on that journey. This is what perfection is; completing the calling and obeying the purpose. We will never be perfect, sinless or virtuous as a finished state as human beings. And knowing this, God has called just as we are and has given the greatest gift of Blue Skies Above Our Shame as we learn to build..
When I felt the call, in my soul, to do this project, it was a big struggle to say yes because I was immediately faced with being and becoming "God's temple". This sent me on a very challenging path of growth and understanding within myself and it was a big struggle to see how I, without knowing exactly what to even do, was called to build and be this "place of greatness."
This was especially hard because even though this was a struggle to do, I also knew that I could not live my life here on this earth without saying yes living every aspect of my purpose and having meaning in my life. So I began to pray earnestly, searching for understanding, for empathy in my big struggle with my great, daily imperfection, which, I realised, would never change, despite being called to be God's temple. During this struggle, I began to look at myself closely, while listening closely to God's voice. I looked at my life and how I have been called, even through moments of imperfection, pain and very "dark" humanity. I realised that I constantly compared and measured up myself to being "God's temple" instead of seeing that:
1. God created me in his essence and accepting that I am supposed to build just the way I am at any and every given moment.
2. The temple that God inhabits is NOT one that he has pre-defined and pre-designed so he can come and dwell in "my righteousness." This is a lifelong journey and and so the temple is built from the day I born until I die.
3. God's dwelling in my temple, and me becoming God's temple, is NOT primarily based on being religious or belonging to any church or organisation. It is simply the lifelong revelation, the unfolding of and the obedience to PURPOSE through the life we are placed here to live.
There a a few things we ought to note:
We have to regularly tear down walls that we build, even during those times when we thought that we were on track and that we were "saved".
Even when the force of God's calling is what is driving us in our purpose and the building and understanding of its temple, there are always idols on our altars and this is how we learn to let go of our self-reproach and understand that this is the journey when a divine temple is created from the imperfect broken stores of humanity. We can NEVER be sinless during this lifetime. It is through sin that we learn and our values and our obedience and understanding are shaped from this process and this is how we meet God.
We have to reconcile ourselves with the fact that we will never EVER be perfect, but there is still a place for God and Love in us, no matter what, as long as we grow and and long as we embrace the calling of the soul.
It was during one of these many struggling moments, with my humanity and the dealing with the impossible feat of feeling that I could ever be a divine temple, I came home one afternoon and said "God, I have to speak to you because I am determined to follow my calling, but this is who I am; this is what you have called and this is how it will always be". I am willing to build but I don't know how to do it, I can only learn as I go.
This goes against everything I have been taught because I have been taught that you come in and change everything once and for all and we must be sinless and perfect from then onward or you won't be found in us."
As I poured out my soul, I sat in front of my piano and pressed record on my phone because I felt the prayer coming. And the prayer was the song and the song was the prayer. Music and lyrics came at once and when I was finished, I knew I had prayed a very essential prayer that gave clarity and left me in a place where I was ready to take the step to move into my calling.
Even though I felt that I was nowhere near worthy or capable of being called this temple. I could stand and build, all because I could find the honest words, in prayer, to guide my heart and essence and steady me.
I hope this song can also become your very own prayer when you lack the words to really break through those heavy moments in your journey... this is my gift and I share this gift with you for the purpose of my calling.
May love, which is God, guide you and make you know that you are worthy and that NO MAN can decide that for you, because you will be guided by love, which revelas ALL things, eventually.
I’m building this house and I’m asking you to meet me here
But I’ve never built anything before
So the labour of my hands are so unsure
I’m only learning as I go, Lord, I am learning as I go.
So many walls that I have built, I've had to tear down to let you in
It’s a curious feeling, to build your dwelling, a permanent place for you to be
When I’ve got no experience in me, but that’s the journey
And now that you’ve shown me, here’s what I’lll do
Oh, I’ll keep building this house, and I’m asking you to live in here
The roof is imperfect but the skies above are clear
In my imperfection, the skies are bright, to give me time and give me light
So I can see just how a house should be
Oh you’ve held back the rain and given me blue skies above my shame
So that I could always build despite my pain
This is your temple
But so many times I’ve had to tear these walls down
This is your temple, but so many parts I’ve had to burn to the ground
There have been idols on my altar, oh how could this be?
When your love has been the force that’s making the builder out of me
But this is the journey, when a divine temple
Is built from the stones, the stones, the stones
Those imperfect, broken stones of humanity....yes, yes.
So thank you for sunny days, and for holding back the rains,
Because it’s been impossible to build a roof above my shame.
It’s taken years, Lord, and a whole, whole lot of grace
But you’ve made a builder out of me through this tough, but amazing journey
That has taught me love beyond my shame and grace beyond my fears
And even though I will be under construction in all my living years
I can still be bold and say that:
I am building this house and I’m asking you to live in here.
It will never be perfect, but there’s a place for you in here
You made a builder out of me, and I’ve built your temple
Through my imperfections and my pain
All because, you’ve given me blue skies, blue skies above my shame
Music and lyrics by José Poleon-Henry (Jomapo).
Performed by Jomapo (vocals) and Emanuel Olsson (piano).
Arranged by José Poleon-Henry and Emanuel Olsson.
Engineered and mixed by Andreas Hedberg at Custom Music Productions.