Teresa's Song (Dare I Go)Ethel Yap
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​​Song: Teresa's Song (Dare I Go)

by Ethel Yap

VERSE 1
How does it feel to be completely alone
How does it feel to have no place to call home
To be a wanderer, forever to roam
Dare I go there with You?


VERSE 2
What does it mean to walk in Your steps
What does it mean to give all that I have
Utterly stripped down, laid empty and bare
Dare I go there with You?


CHORUS
Dare I go there with You, Lord?
Dare I go there with You?


VERSE 3
What does it look like to have nothing else but You
What does it mean to have all my delight be in You
To let Your joy become my clothes and my food
Fill my cup, Lord, to full


CHORUS

Dare I go there with You, Lord?

Dare I go there with You?

To You I plead, that You’ll supply all I need
Dare I go there with You?




BRIDGE
Are You calling me to be hungry?

Are You calling me to be poor?

Am I learning each face is just You in disguise

Do I know that when I’m resting in Your love

Your grace is enough

CHORUS

Dare I go there with You, Lord?
Dare I go there with You?
To You I plead, that You’ll supply all I need
Dare I go there with You?

Help me be there with You

 

Songwriter's Reflections

This song was inspired by a meditation led during one of our Micah Contemplatives sessions. The meditation prompt was a picture of Mother Teresa’s room in Calcutta, and some of her quotations. During the meditation, I felt led to read up more about her life. I discovered that she first worked as a convent school teacher and then headmistress in Calcutta (under the order of the Sisters of Loreto). She then experienced what she describes as the “call within the call”, of the Lord asking her to go further into ministry for Him, to go beyond the safety of the convent and to work with the poorest of the poor in Calcutta.

Her biography states:


"Mother Teresa wrote in her diary that her first year was fraught with difficulty. With no income, she begged for food and supplies and experienced doubt, loneliness and the temptation to return to the comfort of convent life during these early months:
 

'Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today, I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then, the comfort of Loreto [her former congregation] came to tempt me. "You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again", the Tempter kept on saying. ... Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.'”

 

(Kathryn Spink, "Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography" (HarperCollins, 1997) at 37.)

I found it extraordinary that life in the convent was already considered safe and comfortable for her, and that contemplating a return to the convent could even be a temptation to her spirit. The Holy Spirit prompted me through the meditation to consider this turning point in her life as a series of questions – almost as if Mother Teresa was asking herself if she had the courage to obey Christ’s call all the way, even if it called her to go where she absolutely did not want to. Even if it meant being completely stripped of every comfort she had ever known, forcing her to truly rely on Christ for every need. Could she obey Jesus fully, to the very end? Dare she?

The song then turns these questions on to the listener. Have we experienced a similar call by Christ on us? To go where we do not dare to go, to entrust our very lives to Him in the face of absolute uncertainty?

"I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus."

- Mother Teresa
 

Scripture

Matthew 8:20; John 4:34; 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

"And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'"

- Matthew 8:20

 

"Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.'"

- John 4:34

About the Songwriter

 

Ethel Yap is a singer-songwriter and theatre actress. Ethel was mentored by Randolf Arriola in 2015 under the Noise Music Mentorship Programme and released her debut self-titled EP in 2017. She released a single, "Like", in 2018, partnering with local mental health and community support groups for the launch event of the single, which focused on youth mental health in relation to social media addiction. Ethel has performed her music at a wide variety of venues and events including the Esplanade Concourse, Mosaic Music Festival, The Insta-Gala Concert at the Twenty Something Theatre Festival, Baybeats Open Stage, Sofar Sounds Singapore, Scape Invasion Confessions etc. In 2019, Ethel performed her music in Manchester, UK, as part of the monthly Gather event at Foundation Coffee House.


You can listen to her music at http://radi.al/EthelYapEP and find out more about her work at @ethelyap (Instagram), www.facebook.com/ethelyapsg and www.ethelyap.com.
 

In addition to her music, Ethel is a seasoned theatre performer and has performed numerous lead and supporting roles with companies such as Pangdemonium, The Theatre Practice, The Necessary Stage and W!LD RICE, amongst others.
 

She worships at Yio Chu Kang Chapel and serves in the small group and worship ministries.
 

Ethel Yap shot.JPG

 

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Visual: On The Forest Floor

by Daisuke Chew

Daisuke Chew has a background in architecture. A graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning, he has worked at various architectural and design-related firms in the US and Singapore. Though not professional nor published, he has long been a keen photographer, and looks for the beauty and humour in the people, places and stories found in our vernacular and everyday.

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Devotional: Nothing Too Precious

​By Joanne Kwok

In Jerusalem, 2019, on an unexpected trip to the Holy Land that coincided with the completion of three years in full-time ministry, I found myself in a prayer house overlooking the old city. I had just turned 30 and had been sensing that my time with Thir.st was rapidly coming to an end.

 

There I was, again at a pivot, just like the year I packed up my dream career in the creative world and heeded the Lord’s call to write for Him through the digital ministry. However, there had been no articulation for the next place He wanted to take me. In fact, I had agreed to follow some ministry friends to Israel because one of them believed God had a word for me there, and I was desperate for some direction.

 

How does it feel to be completely alone?

How does it feel to have no place to call home?

To be a wanderer, forever to roam

Dare I go there with You?

 

As evening fell, my friends announced that they were going to wash the feet of the prayer house leaders. 

 

Not wanting to disturb this sacred moment, I wandered over to a large window and started praying for that word. But when I closed my eyes, I only saw one thing – Jesus kneeling in front of me and washing my feet. “I called you to my hometown to celebrate the end of your journey,” I felt Him say. He was so kind, gentle and reassuring, and this made me weep. Then He looked at me and said, “Go.” Go where? I asked. But the experience was over.

 

What does it mean to walk in Your steps?

What does it mean to give all that I have?

Utterly stripped down, laid empty and bare

Dare I go there with You?

 

I would have thought this was entirely a figment of my imagination, but a while later, a lady who had been at the back of the prayer room told me, “Just now when you were standing at the window, I saw a large hand come out from the sky and grab hold of you. I knew you were having a powerful moment with God.”

     

In my heart ever since then, it was terrifyingly clear – even though I did not know where to, it was time to get up and start moving. Dare I go, like Abraham did, trusting in His God to take him to that unknown place? Dare I lay it all down and lose my sense of identity, security and significance? 

 

What does it look like to have nothing else but You?

What does it feel to have all my delight be in You?

To let Your joy become my clothes and my food

Fill my cup, Lord, to full

 

I never fancied myself a Mother Teresa of any degree, but it had been exactly her book of letters, Come Be My Light, that guided me through my first transition in 2016, from the marketplace into full-time ministry. This compilation of correspondence with her spiritual directors charts the beloved saint’s following of the voice of God into the slums of Calcutta.

 

And now again, confronted by her story put into song by Ethel, I can hear the Lord asking: Is what you’ve achieved in the ministry too precious for Me? Is there anything you own too precious for Me? Dare you go if I say go?

 

Are You calling me to be hungry?

Are You calling me to be poor?

Am I learning each face is You in disguise?

Do I know that when I'm resting in Your love

Your grace is enough?

 

In our own ways, we are all the Rich Young Ruler who struggles to follow Jesus. So often we are the masters of our own lives. We plan things, want things, love things. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but when we are rich with things too precious for our Lord, things we’d rather remain in control and rulership over, we miss the glory and power that exists only in full surrender.

 

How open are your hands towards our good Father? Is there a career, a relationship, a source of worth He cannot touch? Are there places of comfort you will not leave, places in society you will not go?

 

Dare I go there with You, Lord?

Dare I go there with You?

To You I plead that You'll supply all I need

Dare I go there with You?

 

In the face of the call of God, if we value our time, money, dreams or reputation more than His desires, we are the rich who cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven – this glorious dimension of life that exists just beyond our human eyes and finite perspectives. If we cannot enter it, how then would we be able to embody this Kingdom of justice and righteousness in the places we’ve been called to? How would this Kingdom be established on earth if we do not empty ourselves of worldly ambition, position, approval and reward?

 

Mother Teresa’s good works did not make her the saint that she is, and I believe she would not have agreed to that thinking either. Anyone, technically, can do good. What is rare and truly saintly, which I believe Jesus was trying to show the Rich Young Ruler, is the willingness to be led anywhere, even to the slaughter of everything one holds dear.

 

Dare I go there with You?

 

At the end of 2019, my mentor had prophesied over me: “It’s time to take a radical step that might get people confused. It’s going to be counter-intuitive for a lot of them because you’re at the peak of your career. You’re moving in influence and there’s still so much that you can download to this generation – but it’s going to be very clear.” In July 2020, a year after the Lord told me to “go”, I left my post as Creative Producer at Thir.st. And here I am, simply a disciple in love, training my heart to follow Jesus to the Cross, whatever it demands.

 

What if your pursuit of God and His Kingdom’s justice and righteousness requires you to be stripped down, laid bare, and brought down to the dust? What if your service and endeavour for social justice takes you to a place where you may lose all sense of identity, security and significance? Would knowing that this is God’s desire be enough for you to go? If you find yourself at such a threshold, may the joy of the Father become the only thing you need to go with Him.

 

Prayer

 

Dear Father, you have put in each of our hearts weights that guide us towards You and the plans You have prepared for us. You know what we hold dear and struggle to loosen our grip on; You know what we cannot live without. Father, You look plainly at our inner worlds and see the things we’ve hidden away, whether for fear of disappointing You with our frailty or in wait of courage to do all that You’ve been leading us to. Give us the grace and strength we need to follow Your calling: to say “yes”, to hold nothing too precious for You, that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven and establish it here on earth. We give you full control; we surrender all for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
 

About Joanne Kwok

 

Joanne Kwok is an enthusiast of creative campaigns and good writing. Formerly the Creative Producer at faith-based online publication Thir.st, she recently returned to agency life at design house Yellow Octopus to further her craft in both areas of interest. A verified extrovert, full-time talker and sometimes speaker, she can often be found sharing laughs and stories with friends and audiences alike.

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