This hymn has been stuck on repeat and replay in my heart over the last few days. The words are poignant and powerful...pointing out that life is not all chocolate rivers and pony rides. It asks us to notice and name the brokenness, the tumult and the strife, the pain, the stress and the strain.
Yet...yet...it will not let the brokenness have the last word.
That is so difficult to do in our world today.
How can we sing when schools are no longer safe?
How can we sing when loved ones die?
How can we sing when the plumbing needs to be repaired - again...I mean we just had the plumber out last week. Good Lord!
How can we sing when divisions are so deep and we can't even talk to each other about what matters most?
Maybe the singing doesn't solve the problem. Maybe the singing is the start of something else. When we sing we are conspiring - a word that literally means we are breathing together. When we sing - even different notes - we call that harmony. Not everyone has to sing the melody. Not everyone has to offer the same exact note. As a matter of fact, if we did, it gets kind of boring.
Robert Lowry who wrote this hymn offers a powerful, prayerful juxtaposition. We don't just sing because ware happy...we sing in the face of barren, broken moments because our faith is rooted, grounded in God who is not finished with us yet.
I sing not to distract, deny, or diminish the brokenness. I sing because it is my only prayer in facing the realities in the world. And when approached that way, how can I keep from singing?
With much love ~~