If I record an album, I will call it “Winter Songs”.
It has been my observation during my winter season that there are no songs to sing for Christians who are really bummed and angry and depressed about life. There are worship songs, sure. There are worship songs that talk about “valleys” and “the dark” and how God is “never going to let us down.” But if I’m honest, I’ve been let down by God. I’m not saying that he has ever dropped the ball, but I have certainly been disappointed. I don’t feel like I can sing those songs that say he’s never let me down. Two of my babies died. I felt let down. I felt angry. Where are the songs that allow me to belt out or to barely whisper, “I’m so mad you didn’t answer that prayer,” “Nobody notices me,” or “Why did you let my baby die?”
Many psalms expressed those honest moments, but where have those songs gone in contemporary Christian music? I guess there are really hundreds of answers to that question. At the very worst, maybe those songs don’t make money. At the best, maybe the worship industry (ugh…can’t believe that industry exists) is trying to focus on optimism and hopefulness. We DO all go through these moments, right? It’s not just me, right? Do we not address them, or are we just not singing about them? Maybe it’s both.
I feel that it is the duty (yes, DUTY) of songwriters who love Jesus to create space for these dark and honest moments. Songwriters have been given the gift and the mission to assign words and melodies to those raw life moments where words and melodies fail the rest of us.
We have a whole generation of young people who crave honesty and who need to be guided through dealing with difficult life situations. Not everyone gets a participation medal in real life. Some older people need to understand this too. 🙂 Churches, leaders, songwriters, let’s create healthy spaces for people to really work out their faith in the valleys. Let’s have a posture of humility and compassion. Let’s provide tools, guidance, wisdom, instead of just putting bandaids over things. Let’s work on our crap. Let’s get real.