The Holy or the Broken Hallelujah

There’s a blaze of light in every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken hallelujah

                                                                                                 ~Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

It is so easy to be thankful when things are going well. Jesus is easily recognizable when good things are happening. But what about inside my darkness? Why do I have such a hard time seeing Him? For me, I think it has a lot to do with my sights being turned inward instead of upward when I go dark. I put blinders on and can only see my faults and mistakes. I start down a road of self-hatred and criticism and become incapable of seeing that Jesus is right there beside me. Or even better – carrying me. But I have become too focused on hurting myself that I fail to even notice Him.

God whispers to us during the good times, but in our times of trouble, He is yelling – screaming even. These are the times that God is working to show me something about myself. These are the times when my hallelujahs are broken and busted and tired from warring with my own thoughts. These are the times when I need to remind myself to take that step to take my own advice and say that word: hallelujah.


Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4

Hallelujah. When I am at my darkest and most broken, my hallelujah is heard. David knew that. Even in his darkest moments, he praised God. In Psalm 22, David cries out asking God why he does not answer his call and, in almost the same breath, reminds himself that God is worthy of all praise. All praise. Hallelujah. David cries out broken hallelujahs all over the place!

Truth is, God hears every time we cry out. Every. Single. Time. Every cheer and every fear. When I am dark, it is a lot of hard work to remember that my Heavenly Father is there in the valley of the shadow of death. Work that weighs me down to the point of isolation and despair. So I have to remind myself to stop and breathe. Hallelujah.

Every hallelujah we say is the same in God’s eyes. The broken, the Holy, and every one in between. It doesn’t matter which You heard/ The holy or the broken hallelujah. He is there, listening even when I feel He is quiet, God is there. He hears my cry when I love myself and when I hate myself. It weighs me down sometimes, but I will put the work in every single day to take that moment to breathe Hallelujah.

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