Meleah: Sometimes the breath just gets knocked right out of you. Not literally. Metaphorically. But the funny thing is, that metaphorical breathlessness does literally leave you gasping sometimes.
Life sneaks up, offers a glimmer of hope fulfilled. Unforeseen. Unsought. But wanted, so very wanted.
Then the glimmer flickers to show the shadows. One with the glimmer, the shadow looms.
Hope still sees the glimmer. After all, that’s what we were created to do. To believe the best, hope the best. But when shadows consume, they leak over and steal away from the very one believing and hoping.
So He leads on. He moves my heart on. Having awakened hope which lay dormant. Having surfaced fear unknown before. Having affirmed my course in life, my gaze steady ahead. He called on.
On. Awake. Alive. Burning bright and warm. To the day. To good.
Hoping all the more. Lungs filled with breath again.
So my brother wrote me a song. Of this leading on. Timing so perfect.
The Writing Of
Zach: Sometimes a song comes in a slow, steady progression over time. It sort of grows with you. Others come in fits and spurts, being forgotten and then remembered. Sometimes, they come nearly all at once. It’s as if something had been growing underground for years, and all of a sudden, one morning it sprouts up whole and fully-grown. The book of Romans talks about how the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to pray. There have been definite moments in my life where it was as if I was handed a song that summed up everything I had been trying so unsuccessfully to say. The One who knows us fully knows the key that will unlock the things we don’t even know are inside us. And in this case, it wasn’t just for me—it gave me words to intercede for my sister who had recently taken some blows of her own.
For my part, this song came at a time when I was becoming acquainted with the now-familiar ache that comes when you start realizing that things in the world aren’t as you hoped they would be. And, all too often, they are flat-out wrong. I had just spent a month studying abroad, and the distance seemed to shine a light on the disappointments and restlessness that had long been growing in me. And coming back home only amplified them—like I was a stranger in my own town. It was as if the old, familiar places and situations silently passed before me on the other side of a glass barrier, and I was an uncomfortable observer.
One way or another, life has a way of doing a number on anything alive or vulnerable it can find in us. Hopes and aspirations of what life could and should be—what we wanted to be—are as fragile as a green blossom in the frost. We learn to adapt and stiffen to take the shots, but the reflex becomes a shell of scar tissue. The lump in our throats can become a knot that silences us when we should be extending life and crying for help. We start our races with bright eyes and open hearts, but sometimes we forget where we’re going—or why we even started in the first place.
We are all constantly exposed to Truth in one form or another. If we’re not careful, it will roll right off us and the moment will be gone. Or—perhaps even worse—we’ll spot the Truth, examine it, and even describe it to others, but if the seed doesn’t die and spend enough time invisible under the surface, we won’t be any the better for it. Perhaps that’s why the Psalmist said that God desires truth in the innermost part. The secret place where we humbly receive it until it grows up quietly and becomes something that gives life to others.
The Making Of
This song sat a few years in the corner of, “Well, I wrote this song a while back, and I’m not sure how it fits into what we’re doing with As Isaac, so I guess I’ll just set it down until we figure out what to do with it.” After I while, I felt like it could be played at a quieter moment during a concert, so I dusted it off for the folks. Rachel then settled into what is honestly one of my all-time favorite fiddle licks. And then Kristian decided to include upright bass among the things he rocks at. And, thirty-some-odd years ago, Nathan Shirai was born a musical prodigy that would go on to play every instrument known to man—including the mandolin. And all these forces collided for your listening pleasure.