I’ve been avoiding music.
I know what you’re thinking, but it’s true–I have been avoiding music. Not all music, and not total avoidance, but definitely enough to break my heart last night.
Folks, I used to count the songs. I used to know each chord, each title, and exactly how many there were. Now? They are lost in a shuffle on my bookshelf. Binders, folders, notebooks, the graves of my once passionate heart. Each song is buried away for lack of…
What is it? Lack of passion? Lack of hope? Lack of desire? I don’t think it’s any of those things. Maybe lack of purpose.
As I listened to a local musician last night sing one of his own songs, I felt that gentle weight of God’s Spirit upon my heart, like a cat who sleeps on my chest each night. And it broke me. It broke me into a universe of indistinguishable pieces that all longed for the same thing: To sing.
Not for an audience.
Not for a career.
Not for a position in a church.
Just to sing. Just to lift my voice.
To remember my life verse, and to live it with full abandon:
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
More than a favorite verse, this verse is the song my mother sang over me when she carried me for nine months. She would prop that beautiful 12-string against her round belly and sing it softly, the duet of alto and Cortez resonating there in that secret place where God was creating me–not only my physical form, but my spirit, my soul, that part of me that longs for eternity and my Savior.
And now, I avoid the songs and the prayers that would return me to that longing. I have been content to let others sing, to leave my songs in their tombs.
I am content no longer.
Can Christ raise them to life again?
Can He give voice to the longing within my spirit?
Dash told me once to go through my music and play each song. I don’t remember why he advised me so, but I remember being thankful that he did; so that is where I’m headed this evening, friends–to sit on the living room floor, all alone, and at least attempt to work through every song I’ve ever written. Even the ones that hurt.
Maybe–just maybe–God can breathe life into these dry bones.