Monday, February 3, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

He said, "I'm free, yeah, oh I have been forgiven,
 God's love has taken off my chains, 
and given me these wings, 
And I'm free, yeah, and the freedom I've been given, 
Is something that not even death can take away from me, 
Because I'm free, Jesus set me free.
Steven Curtis Chapman, "I am Free", (Song Lyrics)

Meditating on the lyrics of this song, I see the prisoner, the hard, accused man sitting in the prison yard as the visitor approaches. It's easy to imagine the tiredness, the many regrets, and the weight of shame carried by many in such a place as one enters this house that holds those who have one way or another surrendered to the ways of darkness. It is in this prisoner's statement, that the tempo changes, the sun breaks through and one can truly feel the transforming power of God's love exploding through the prison wall. 

Free! God has taken off my chains and given me these wings! No longer bound by shame, regret or sin. Free. Free because now God's love has changed everything. As I listen to the ending of this song, another one comes to my mind. 

I am the heart, You are the heartbeat,
I am the eyes, You are the sight,
And I see clearly, I am just a body,
You are the Life.
I move my feet, I go through the motions,
But you give purpose to chance,
I am the dancer, 
You are, the Lord of the dance.
Steven Curtis Chapman, "Lord of the Dance" (lyrics)

I see the prisoner, perhaps old, weary, and with not much strength, begin to share his life changing story of how God set him free and showered him with love. I see this old man begin to declare that God is his heartbeat, his sight, his very life. And as this man,who has spent most of his life imprisoned for his wrongs rises from the worn chair, his death bed before society,  his heart, hands and feet are renewed as if young again, and he is able to dance the dance of freedom as he rejoices in the Lord of the dance.

 Oh, this is me, always the storyteller.  That is what I see when I think of those in prison but also those around me, not in literal prison, but in the prison of their minds, their hearts, and the burdens of this life. I see myself, as that prisoner, finally able to dance and rejoice in recognition of God's mercy, God's love, and God's greatness in my life.

I too am like the prisoner, for I need the Lord of the dance to be my sight, my heartbeat, and the motion in my life.

Today, declare you are free and that you will rise up to move to the rhythm played by heaven as you rejoice in the presence of the Lord of the dance. Do you need the Lord of the Dance to move in your life today? Hear the song of heaven striking up a beat you won't be able to stand still to. Get up and move to the sounds of deliverance. Raise your hands and say, "I am free. God has taken away the chains and given me these wings!'



By Angeline M Duran Santiago  The storm rages on and the winds buffet the lands in violent twirls. Some say it is the season for hur...