When I was younger, I could never quite say I was looking forward to heaven. Somewhere along the way, I learned that in heaven, we were going to sing to God all day.
When I sing too much my jaw starts hurting. I yawn a lot. And if the music is not theologically flawless (to me), my mind automatically begins deconstructing the words of the song and trying to figure out what about it rubs me the wrong way.
Ironically, good music with carefully thought out lyrics speak to my soul more deeply than any sermon ever could. In fact, rich music has been what has encouraged me through some of the most difficult seasons of my adult life.
When Jake was going through his “situation” in Oklahoma as a conscientious objector, two songs that kept me afloat were Mary, Mary’s Shackles and Matt Redman’s Blessed Be Your Name. While probably not the most profound songs of all time, they were the ones that God used to lift me temporarily from the deep sense of despair that had become my constant companion.
Also during this season, but probably more after Jake came back from Oklahoma, Derek Webb’s Mockingbird album was a companion to me when I felt like we were the minority in our enemy-loving, peace-making, pro-life (ALL life, from conception to death) beliefs. [Seriously, I just listened to this whole album while writing this post. If you’ve never listened to it, head over to Noisetrade].
While in seminary, I was introduced to Gungor and I haven’t looked back. I remember walking and running to Beautiful Things on repeat. Only a year or so earlier we had unexpectedly come back from Kenya, feeling confused and a little bit disillusioned with life. What just happened? What next? We were feeling unsure of what our future held, and I was struggling with feeling quite lonely and small. This album helped me to feel understood and helped give words to feelings I couldn’t fully access on my own.
What music is shaping and sustaining your soul these days?