Today is December 1st. The holiday season is once more upon us, a time for prayers of peace and goodwill to all. Nights fall sooner, but the lights of Christmas shine all the more brightly. The aroma of trees and candles and delicious baked treats fill the air, and the sounds of favorite songs complete the sensory experience. “O Holy Night” has been a long time favorite of mine.
Since the age of thirteen, music has had me in thrall, with the past decade finding music at the center of most everything I did. Psalm 150:6 clearly states “let everything with breath, Praise the Lord.” Surely this admonition sings best during the season of Advent.
But times change. This past year I’ve seen music fall away from my day to day, with the very hope and desire and dream of music becoming as ephemeral as the stuff of dreams itself. Today begins a season for me that is the antithesis of joy and praise. The world has not ended and no lives have been lost…
Let me interrupt my own musings. I have no illusion as to who may or may not read these words I publish. In fact, there is a particular freedom in knowing that I speak aloud to no one.
I said ‘the world has not ended and no lives have been lost.’ But that’s not entirely true. Much of who I have been my entire life is gone. I have no idea when or if the things that made me who I was will ever return. It is a stranger that types these words and stares back at me from the mirror.
Sorry for dramatic words, but no one has forced you to read them. The pain of loss and failure is real, folks.
Some will chastise, saying that as Christians we should find joy and hope in every circumstance. That may be true. Faith still burns inside, but it’s a small flame that flickers and sputters against these cold winds. I truly think it is a disservice to the faith we profess not to let our hearts ring true, whether in times of triumph and joy, or loss and grief.
So how, during days of loss, do I praise the Lord?
Christ promised that those who grieve and mourn will find comfort and peace. So, for me to grieve and mourn and bear witness to His promise is through song.
So how to proclaim when music recedes into the distance?
Lord, let these days run by
And hurry to the end
I’ve had my fill of daylight
Time for darkness to descend
It’s a longing to be over
Like a race run too long
And grace sits blind and helpless
As law condemns the wrong
Sing away, gone
But don’t sing too long