Fireflies (And Tears) In A Jar: Part Two


LORD, in the morning you will hear my voice;                                                             in the morning I will pray to you, and I will watch for your answer.

~ Psalm 5:3 International standard version



  A second awe-filled moment, so apropos to Lent…

 “Tell us the story behind your part in writing what’s become Israel’s anthem song …” he entreated entertainer Pat Boone last week via satellite TV to where the star and his wife held interview on a world away trip in Israel.

I leaned in to listen, for instantly that question warmed that feeling over me once more…just like that deeply stirring music piece* always does. As if to say, again – You’ll want to hear this.  A story of how I inspire.  To see and know I inspire you too…And no one is too small or insignificant to be my messenger…

Knowing Pat from numerous interviews, I knew the answer would have God’s fingerprint all over it.

Pat smiled broadly.

“Oh,” he began, “that was just a pure gift…”

Taking us back to 1960, he recalled the haunting beauty of the title song to the epic movie Exodus, depicting a novel-based story of the Jews’ return to Israel as a nation.

Immediately drawn to orchestral power of it, Pat listened over and over to the highly popular instrumental at home, something in him strangely longing to set words to it. Possibly even just to present an idea to a professional lyricist.  The music tugged at him continually.

“No one had written lyrics,” he cited, “because basically three strong-willed men stood in the way – the novel’s author, the film director and the composer all had to agree. And so far they had refused all attempts as unsuitable.”

It was Christmas Eve, Pat said, when he and Shirley were wrapping gifts by the tree, the theme from Exodus once again playing in the background.  Seemingly for the fortieth time, he set the record needle to the start of the song, hoping to spark an idea.  Suddenly, as the tune began with its crashing notes — Bum bum…bum… bum… Bum bum, bum bum bum bum!…it was as if words just swooshed into his mind on a conductor’s baton lift.

“This land, is mine…God gave, this land, to me!”

Even as he recounted the miraculous feel of that moment, I heard the thunderous sound of that music in my mind, tears blurring his screen image before me.  As I write this… the words swim once again.   “Lord,” I breathed, silent at the beauty of how His spirit moves on us in “lightbulb moments,” speaks answers and creating right into our thoughts, like planting seeds and watering them through us.  At how sometimes we can miss that… or think it is just us…Or that it is just a little gift… nothing extraordinary.

But how always, always it is as Pat said.  A pure and wondrous gift.  “Father, thank you for the ways you inspire us, help us to hear you, lead us in gifts like that… To create beauty that reflects your glory most of all…”

“With those words, I knew – this was it!” I heard Pat enthuse then, “because it just told the whole story of God and His people…”

Afraid the thought would escape him, he searched through scraps of wrapping paper, scrabbled underneath boxes, grabbed a pen, found something white to scribble it down.  Within 30 minutes, he’d written the entire lyric.  It wasn’t till then that he turned the paper over.  Discovered, of all things…he’d written the words on the back of a Christmas card.

“I took the card to the three – and they loved it,” he said modestly.  “No one knowing the great impact God would make this music have over the world.  It’s been recorded time and again…And here in Israel even the children learn this song.  They may not know who wrote the music or the lyrics, but they know the words and the great promise and meaning behind them.”

“And something wondrous happened with it just recently, didn’t it?” prompted the interviewer, of Pat.

He chuckled then.  “Something only God could do again,” he answered.  In the recent establishment of a Holocaust memorial there in Israel, the leaders had discovered the story of the “Christmas card,” approached him about donating it to the museum as historical treasure.

“I always thought I’d keep it,” Pat said a bit wistfully, showing the picture of the framed piece, “…but this just seemed of God for this time…”

“And as such a deep intercessor,” his wife Shirley added, “my heart just leaps at all I see God doing in this land…things I know I’ve prayed long and hard about…”

I brushed my eyes at this simple, yet wondrous testimony to God’s Spirit breathing into us… putting words in our hearts, giving music, leading this one over here and that one over there… putting a Christmas card into someone’s hand to forever carry a starry message to hearts of His people all over the world, to stir those who maybe don’t know Him – each time they sing or listen… To all He does through our intercessions in prayer…

I recall the Exodus theme version I’ve always heard, recorded long ago by my favorite singer.  One of many secular movie hits…yet, how you can feel the anointing in music and lyric!

And in this story, I also hear so many universal whispers to my heart.  Truly His heart for His promised people.  The heart of His redemptive story.

But…so many times in prayer and scripture, I’ve found Him telling me this land also means whatever promise God has put in your heart and mine.  

Do you have a creative God-sized dream?  Is there a word in your heart to write,            a song to sing, a gift to bake, an invention to create, a building to build, a landscape to design?

Are you looking to His promised word for renewed health, restored finances?

Do you often fight the doubt you are good enough, have anything to say or create, could be used of Him to touch anyone?

I’ve given you this land, He says.  It belongs to you.  I will bring you back and restore you 1,000-fold…  Take My Hand and walk this land with Me…

He may use you to write it on a Christmas card and send it’s starry message all over the world.

He may create it through your hands and send it to just one who needs to receive…

You…or a well known star…There is no difference in His moving or in how He makes us children after His own heart, born to create and be fruitful in many-faceted ways.

Just an ear to listen, a heart to pray, an upturned spirit to watch and see what He will make of “the land” He’s given to…you.

Ah…yes, How tears can be his hints to bearing His image…        


©  Pam Depoyan

     * If you’ve never heard the Exodus song… listen to Pat’s recording of it here: )


To hear it with the original bum, bum… orchestral sound mentioned above, I’d suggest this version: 


Sharing with:  Thought Provoking Thursday  

Imperfect Prose  at Emily Wierenga’s place,

          Tell Me a Story      Beholding Glory   Dream God-sized Dreams


The etching shown up top: (Click the drawing to see a larger image.) This is the first in a series I’ve just added in a new home and heirloom accent section on my gallery page, pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS…   Something in the attentive look of the dog to an unseen Master put Psalm 5:3 in my mind…and seems to go with this post.  🙂



About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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22 Responses to Fireflies (And Tears) In A Jar: Part Two

  1. Pam~
    This is a beautiful posting-its clear to see how God worked with you so every bit of this story would come out-You being the messenger is a perfect fit. We can all find “Meaning” when we read your postings-and there are times when I physically do not feel up to reading your work~~~but here is where God works- I found this post today in my Spam box and when I opened it up-seeing it was one of your postings, all I could think was that I must have checked email boxes off-cleaning up my email page while I was up in those dark hours of the night, struggling against this Pain that works so hard to pull me down.

    I had some injections this week and it takes several days to begin feeling somewhat normal again-and I really didn’t feel up to reading this post—but something was gently, lovingly, guiding me to lean back, breathe in, and read…. Thank God that I did!! I found meaning to your words-strength of having a determined Faith life-as Pat Boone waited, never giving up hope of honoring God with his talents….

    So I thank you for these words-they arrived exactly when I needed them. I also wanted to share my “God Moment”that happened this week-my husband had to have some medical tests done (annual checkup) at the hospital and I noticed his nurse was so alive and happy! Of course I am sitting there, Pain chewing me up and not feeling any Joy-she kept talking and getting everything ready when my husband began humming the song we all enjoy at New Years Eve~~she whipped around and started Singing the words, I joined in and our music floated down the hallway of that hospital.. She told us how that is her special song she shares with her grandchildren each year and then it happened~~ “I am just glad to be alive! You know I had both breasts removed about a month ago, Yep I am starting Chemo next week and its all going to be okay!”

    I couldn’t find words-but she did and asked why I was using a cane to walk with~~ my husband gave her the rapid version “Fell out of a tree, nine operations, she is in constant Pain!” This amazing woman stopped, we locked eyes and she said “Oh God, there is No way I could handle living with Pain that will not go away~~You are a very strong woman to cope with it~~yep, very strong!” I believe God put it all together-giving me the chance to hear her story and then to have her turn it around and give me words of praise~~~and the song, Well I think that was the very best part of it! The very best part…….

    Thank you Pam for allowing me to leave this long post–but I felt moved to share with you. Keep allowing the words to flow from your heart. God loves you very, very much!

    May HE bless you always. martha

    • God loves you very much, Martha. I can understand not being up to reading long posts. But maybe there are times even when skimming thru can be something He uses to hearten you here or elsewhere. I’m so glad this one spoke His light over you today in whatever way it did… and for the story He brought you into there in your “God moment” this week. I know the “land” he has for all of us speaks of His blessing, and I pray His every blessing won on the cross for you tonight. Thank you for sharing your heart here and know that you are surrounded in prayer – not just by me, but all the COF… And may the song He puts in you lift you in every way you need tonight and always. He holds your tears… sad or joyful… in a bottle… I love the promise that the Exodus song holds high as His banner… and His banner of love is over you in the same way.

      • What beautiful words to receive Pam–I do feel HIS love and know HE is holding me up when I feel like nothing is left in me. Thank you for allowing me to share my MOMENT this week! It lifted me up to have someone who has just been through what every woman dreads–to tell ME about my own courage and strength… God bless you my dear friend-and I cherish all the prayers that are spoken for me and for all who suffer with Chronic Pain. Keep writing Pam-and I know even a few words will lift me each time.

        God has given you some very special gifts. love,martha

  2. lolita says:

    “Ah…yes, How tears can be his hints to bearing His image…” That’s a powerful parting line, Pam.

    Thank you for posting this. I so appreciate you sharing us the story behind the lyrics of Exodus. How God put the words in Pat Boone’s heart. It makes me cry just reading it from here. His image is indeed borne in the message of the song. And it became the national anthem of Israel, a banner of His love and promise.

    This also gave me the prompt to listen anew at one of my favorite singer’s rendition of this very song.

    • Yes, that line was echoing back to Shelly’s question from her post about tears… her powerful words.

      I know… it just brings tears to hear how God speaks into someone like that, inspires thoughts, leads to create. It feeds my own heart to create too… and I think you have that same heart. How God used those words is so beautiful. Thank you, Lolita!

  3. Mary says:

    It is so amazing, how He gives, then uses in incredible ways, small and big! Such grace to watch Him take small offerings and do wonders. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. i bet he thought writing those words was just a “little” thing. and don’t we all feel the same way? the little thing of smiling at a stranger, the little thing of writing words for a blog post, the little thing of drying a tear or cooking a delicious dinner.
    but God takes it and multiplies it. and it becomes something that carries His signature, and communicates His grace — often farther than we would have ever thought.

    thanks for sharing at IP, friend.

    • Yes… I think we all feel that way, no matter who we are. I love how He multiplies…yes, and so much farther than we imagine. Was just asking myself again what my blogging is accomplishing in the scheme of things… I do pray that loaves and fishes prayer 🙂 Thanks, Kelli.

  5. Hi Pam,

    I’m not familiar with this.

    Stopping in to say hi.

    Jennifer Dougan

    • Hi Jennifer… Thanks for stopping in! if you can click on the you tube link at the end of the post, you can hear the song. I never saw the movie, but I have heard the music since I was a kid. I’ve always heard the Lord in it, but this story really shows me His hand and how much Israel means to His heart.

  6. Lynn Morrissey says:

    Pam I LOVE this post, and I had no earthly idea that Pat Boone was the lyricist!! wow, you always share such interesting tidbits. I used to play the piano version of Exodus (and LOVED it), but there were no lyrics. I will try to find the score with the words. Mostly, I appreciate all you are saying about how God uniquely gifts His children and plants dreams for them in their hearts, and gives shape to them Himself, with a word here, an idea there. And yes, He does promise us land. We need eyes to see it and feet to walk toward it and a heart to believe that the promise is true.

    • Yes… I knew it because I had heard him say it before, but I never heard the back story. I LOVE how God planted that desire in him (he has written others, but I think Exodus was his first) and then put those words so purposefully into him. And how he used that Christmas card not even knowing, and how God does things like that never by chance! Yes, I’m praying about that “land” in my life, again on many important levels, and I praise Him in whatever ways He’s working that for each of us… I love that you got the takeaway I was trying with this story too (not just a story about a celebrity). Thank you for letting me know it moved you too. I know what a music lover you are too, so thought this one would. 🙂 I was particularly moved by his wife Shirley too… couldn’t put too much in here, but she is a prayer warrior intercessor big time, and I really relate to her on that. So much heart of His heart in her when she shares …

  7. Emma says:

    Oh Pam, you brought tears to my eyes here, such beautiful words. Thank you for sharing and encouraging. Emma

  8. Sylvia R says:

    Wow! What a bowl-you-over story! I didn’t know this was Israel’s anthem song, even taught to the children… And written in a half-hour’s inspiration—on a Christmas card! And that Israel wants the card! I didn’t even know who wrote the song. But here’s the “funny” thing. I have a calendar this year featuring scenes in Israel, which just move my heart when I look at them, and a few days ago I was standing there, thinking of this song, wanting to *sing* it, and trying to remember the words!
    And stunning your message, which massages my sore heart! (Though I don’t do well to think “God sized dream,” way too large for me. I do much better to think of words scribbled on the bottom of a box, or the back of a card, for God to use, or not, as He wills.) Thank you, sister!

    • Yes, maybe “God-sized” sounds too big, but i think it really truly is these little or seemingly little things. Every time I think of how God gave this to Pat it reminds me of moments in my own life when thoughts come “out of the blue” in answer… or how I thought I was praying for someone out of my own thoughts, but then realized it was His leading, etc. It is a stunning story, isn’t it – even in it’s simplicity – and how God took it around the world! I’ve been singing this song in my head since writing this, too. I really believe Israel is high on God’s heart, that He wants us to be praying for them, and what you said about your calendar is definitely His spirit moving. So tenderly. Thanks Sylvia!

  9. Diane says:

    Beautiful song, beautiful telling of the story, beautiful art!

    • Thanks, Diane. Yes, this story really is stirring. Just felt I had to write about it… on my mind.

      I’m a bit disappointed with the way this drawing looks scanned online. It squashes it for some reason… in person, it has a lot more presence to it and is one of my favorites of things I’ve done lately. Online, it looks kind of unimpressive to me.. If you can imagine stretching it vertically a bit, the back of the chair is taller, and looks more three dimensional.

  10. Thank you for sharing this story. Key take-away for me: “But…so many times in prayer and scripture, I’ve found Him telling me this land also means whatever promise God has put in your heart and mine.” Daily, I have to remind myself that what God has placed in me will be fulfilled. I do not need to doubt, remembering a delay is not a denial. God is true to His promises and according to His timing. Be blessed!!

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