Songs Behind Stories: Living in the Light

June 14, 2014

When I go to a concert, it is "meet" the person who makes the music I love. To get up close and personal (in row 582). So, I understand when people ask me what the "story" is behind the writing of certain songs. Here is one such story: 

 

Living in the Light

 

In 1992, the Whole People of God curriculum, based in Wood Lake Publishing, asked me to create their singalong cassette (again). I suggested to them that I might write a theme song for each of the season's units as I did so. In that year, I wrote "Living in the Light", "Together Through the Valley" and "Everyday Loving".

 

I had just come back from 3 years away at school, and had found my eyes opened in more ways than I had expected in that time. School is a time when you choose to allow your eyes to be opened - or you don't. If you say yes to allowing new ideas into your life, you are taking a risk of greater openness to the world. In a way, you don't get to choose which insights come to you, which truths confront you, when you do this. You have said "Yes" to Spirit, and life begins to open up around you.

 

Some of my friends began to remember hard and forgotten events of their own past as they studied scripture. It was like the stories that we had known so well became mirrors for them. I remember one such class in which we took apart parables, acting them out, re-telling them. One of us retold the biblical story of a man in authority whom we all would have described as unjust and cruel. She told us he was kind. She began to describe how he was fair. As she spoke, we began to see the lights go out in her eyes; she was realizing she had told herself her whole life that unfair was fair, that cruel was kind, that one who had betrayed her trust was somehow trustworthy...  

 

It was a tumultuous year for my friend. It was quite a year for me, learning how to support and understand. What seemed really true to me then, as now, is:

 

"When light comes pouring into the darkest place,

it hurts our eyes to see the glow.

Sometimes a word of hope reminds us of our fears,

our memories and tears."

 

I believe that Jesus is a way in to the healing energy of God. I can see now that I described him in verse 3 as one who "showed us a brighter path to walk" - a guide and mentor or role model. Now I would describe him as a pathway through which God is drawing me toward God's Self. I would say that Jesus creates an illumination of the Holy.

 

Opening our eyes to that illumination is a brave act, but I believe that when we are invited by Spirit to see more of the truth, we will be given the support we need to deal with it.

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