Like most of you, these difficult days have me asking myself, "What is it I am supposed to do in response to what the world is facing?" In moments when I’ve felt most overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation, I have had to remind myself it is not my responsibility to do everything, but I do have a responsibility to do something. I am doing my best to learn what that looks like.
I am well aware that to do anything opens a person up for negativity and criticism, but as I look at the efforts of others, I am trying to assume that most people are acting out of a place of genuine concern, a hope for change, and a desire to do better. I ask for a similar grace as I seek to do my part.
Two years ago, I wrote a song with my dear friend, Joel Lindsey. Unsure of when or where or with whom it would one day find a home, we tucked it away and waited. Fast forward to earlier this year. As the weeks into the pandemic and resulting quarantine progressed, I felt compelled to release the song with an accompanying video. My desire was to use this particular platform to encourage songwriters to steward their gifts well and write songs that give hope to people who so desperately needed it during a time when discouragement, frustration, and fear were mounting.
Also, in light of the concerns being raised regarding the act of singing and the restrictions being imposed on singers everywhere, my own heart was saddened to think of a world without live music, if even for a season. I made plans to record the song and produce the video.
And then, more. More heartache. More tragedy. More injustice. More confusion. More anger. More discouragement, frustration, and fear.
I knew the need was great.
I have come to believe it is even greater.
I don’t think songs solve problems. I do think they have power. Songs engage and inspire people to think and act. Songs move people to express emotion and empathize with the emotions of others. Songs tell our history and dream of a future.
So, if you are a writer of songs, I beg you, please do your part. Write the song you need to hear. Write the song your neighbor needs to hear. Write the hurt and the sorrow and the struggle. Write the joy and the humor and the fun. But most importantly, write the hope.
If you are a singer of songs, thank you for embracing the work of songwriters everywhere and for finishing the work that began when the writing itself was completed. You add life and beauty that is so desperately needed.
And if you are listener of songs, I will do my very best to give voice to your thoughts, tell stories that make you smile, share truth that offers comfort, and above all, shine a light of hope.