a grief observed
My hope and desire is that through the cathartic and exhaustive experience of putting melodies and rhythms to my anguish, I can move on from all this tormenting mess. And in the process, express it to those who may have experienced some such heartache and, therefore, can relate to what is a severed suffering.
Regardless, it has been nothing short of a joy and pleasure to play music again and find ways to worship God without words. And this is, without doubt, worship. For even in our grief, if there is honesty and vulnerability, there is His Spirit. There are highs and lows. There is denial. There is anger. There is bargaining. There is depression. There is acceptance.
The grief is gone now. But the memory of it will always be with me. I hope you can benefit from its observation.
We need to be willing to listen and ready to move when God speaks.
That Hideous Strength
C.S. Lewis’ beautiful and intense finale to his “Space Trilogy” has many peculiar aspects and allegories. But at its core is a message to escape the political machine of what we are “supposed to be and do”, and run to the hills where the deep Heaven awaits us.
How do you walk away from what has become your whole life and purpose? Will you answer the people who point, stare, and lie about your motives? What do you say to someone who has put a knife in your back? Perhaps you will just fade away because words would only bring more tears.
The Bell Jar
“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.” – Sylvia Plath
As I know it, it is the place where depression lies and the spirit of suicide tries to take hold. I tried to write a piece of music that conveys the weight of a man who has given everything to save his love. But no matter what, it’s not good enough.
He never did it for her, though. He did it for his God. And when he can finally express himself to the one who understands him, he will be free.
Richard Adams’ incredible story, told from the perspective of two dogs, hides evocative and transparent truths about our own broken lives that are filled with mistakes and failures. Maybe we aren’t that bad after all. Perhaps the scientists tormented us; they messed up our minds; the town misunderstood our motives, but all we really wanted was a Master to love and play with us.
One late evening in early December, I reached for my guitar and began a progression. The words spilt out of me faster and stronger than any song before. And behind them, a picture in my mind rang staunch and fierce—that of two menacing eyes staring back at me in bitter, ugly deceit.
But while the fleeting eyes of some unfeeling observer may come and go or life may seem bitter and slow, the Eyes of God are “always watching” and will “remain”. Perhaps that’s why it’s my western. There is something more on the other side of the sunset’s wonder.
Twelve years go by fast. This year, having walked away from my career, we did not have the money for gifts and vacations like we normally would on our wedding anniversary. But I knew I could put my efforts into a song for my wife. This is my love-letter to her, with many hidden connotations throughout.
This was the final song I wrote in my tenure as the youth worship leader. It was completed and ready to bring to the worship team before they elected me to lead the youth church as pastor. It has sat on the shelf for six years, waiting. And since then, every time I picked up a guitar, it would come out.