Thursday, February 21, 2013


I have this daydream that one day I will meet my favorite singer/songwriter. When I meet him--and I have complete assurance that one day I will--I'll tell him how I grew up singing his songs. I'll tell him how my parents always listened to his music and sang along to his lyrics, and how they taught his songs to me from the time I was just a wee girl, barely yet able to talk.

I might share with this artist how, according to my parents anyway, I was humming along to his songs before I had ever spoken a word. (I'll share that part of my toddler-history with a  knowing smile because, well, all kids know it's wise to question the veracity of their parents' claims.)

As I grew from a young child into an adolescent then into an adult, the words of this artist's songs began to resonate more fully, the meaning of his words piercing more deeply.

But it's not just his songs that have made an impression, it's his life, too. In some ways this man has lived the life of a celebrity, full of the glory and power that comes from wealth and fame and prestige. But he's also a man who has lived through much sorrow and heartbreak. This makes it easy to relate with him, to feel as though I can sing the same words he sang, that they can become my own.

I know with certainty that one day I will meet him, this favorite songwriter of mine. No doubt I'll need to patiently wait my turn, as there will be thousands upon thousands of others also eager to greet him.

This musician? It's not Bob Dylan or Paul Simon or Bruce Springsteen or Roy Orbison, though I did grow up singing their songs too. No, it's a musician way greater than any of them, and whose lyrics surpass any before or after his time.

He's the greatest songwriter of history: King David, the man after God's own heart.

When I do meet him, when I one day humbly look into his face, I will thank him for his songs, and my feeble words of gratitude will seem entirely unable to communicate my debt.

I'll tell him that I've imagined what he, the king of Israel, would look like singing his songs of praise. I'll ask him if he would consider singing a favorite song of his for me.

If he concedes, if he lifts his voice in song, I'll turn away and look not to him but instead stand beside him, with my own voice raised, my own arms stretched high.

I wonder if we'll know the same tune, or if perhaps this Jewish king will smile, amused, when I tell him that my Jewish father taught me the Scottish covenanter version to these ancient Hebrew songs.

But somehow I trust that harmony will emerge, because we'll be in a place where harmony--sublime, perfect harmony--will always be the tune.

Side by side, king David and I will sing the words he wrote those thousands of years ago. As our voices raise, I'll not be thinking about the king beside me who penned these words, I'll be worshiping the glorious King before me.

All this is, in many ways at least, just a daydream. Maybe king David won't be singing the songs from the past. Maybe there will be a New Song we'll all be singing together. But while there is much about the new creation that is vague, there is also much that is made clear. There will be no more sin. Darkness will have been conquered by light. Death will be no more and life will be with no end. Each tear will be wiped dry. Love will have won over evil. Each one who trusted in Christ will be present and glorified. The new creation will no longer be tainted by sin. Every broken body, broken mind, broken heart will be perfectly restored. Faith will have been replaced by sight. And Jesus Himself, our Redeemer, will gloriously dwell with his people while we cry Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

That day will come.

For now, I'll smile and dream about meeting the king after God's own heart, the musician whose words I sing every day of my life.

My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
~Psalm 57