Warning: I’m still on drugs as I write this post with my swollen digits.
I continue to be amazed at the God-timing of songs that literally sing and pour into my life.
Was introduced to Low Roar while listening to Echoes on Monday night — something I would have totally missed if my daughter hadn’t gotten off work sooner than she expected necessitating my driving to pick her up at the moment this song was playing. I would have totally missed it if she hadn’t.
Yesterday I searched for selections from their self-titled debut album. Found this video to song, “Give Up” – though I think of it as “Don’t Give Up.”
Don’t know what it is about this song. It strikes such a deep chord within. And then watching the images on the video. It’s breathtaking. It captures so much of where I am, especially on chemo weeks — or days like today when I end up laid up in the ER for five hours with a swollen face, lips, and a body increasingly covered with red itchy welts. This video kept playing in my mind the whole time. It’s another new non-worship worship song for me, leading me into Abba’s arms, relishing obscurity and a simple life that many perhaps would say is a dead end of failure and non-achievement. Right now it’s one of those songs that wakes me in the morning and ushers me into path that is often walked in solitude but is always rich on so many levels. A song “meaning nothing to some, but everything to me.”
This song threads a thread of continuity with another ancient song in Psalm 131 near and dear to my soul:
God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
my soul is a baby content.
Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!
How wonderful it is to be seen, but not to need to be seen. How sublime to want Abba’s lap not to get something or cajole a response out of him, but simply to be. No teat is offered, and none is asked for. What place to arrive at — a place where you can look over pictures, trinkets, and trophies of the past, to smile at them, as you look out to today’s sunset. How sweet to be free of our culture’s driving desire to achieve and to be noticed and instead see an “earth crammed with heaven, and every bush afire with God.” Or even every worn out trailer – and worn out man. How sweet, being freed from that, to enjoy God’s luscious presence in mundane and broken places.
I’m struck by how many great achievers end up as the man in this video. Broke, alone, sick, forgotten, unnoticed — like Georges Melies in Hugo: the broken film maestro sitting day after day in a toy store filled with broken toys. It seems almost inevitable. The unbreakable Ecclesiastes cycle. Havel havelim. Vanity of vanities. Breath that begins to fade as soon as it appears. And while that cycle will relentlessly pull down all that we build and achieve like the giant sinkhole that it is, it can’t suck down the quiet moments, the simple joys shared – even if just with your dog, the dignity and beauty of our memories. Therein lies our true “crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
I love that the man in this video is named David Ode. Literally, the beloved one’s song.
The sinkhole can’t suck this song – or the song of me and you – into it either.
I won’t wake
A wealthy man someday
Cause the sun, don’t follow me
I won’t wake,
Without a song to sing
Nothing to some
Everything to me
On my worst
I’ll do my best
To make it seem
Like I am happy
I’ve grown numb
Dry as my tear ducts
I’ve grown dumb
But don’t give up on me…