Several weeks ago, a friend and fellow musician asked me if I ever write songs. I don’t. I’m not a songwriter and I’m barely a singer. I mean, I can sing a tenor line in a choir with the best of them but I’m not exactly what you would call a front man.
This is what I’ve always told myself. These are the stories that play over and over in my head. And I’m not so naïve to think that there isn’t any truth to them. But I’ve been routinely self-deprecating and negatively-biased towards myself for a while. I don’t give myself enough credit. So, even though I’m not trying to make the 20 Feet From Stardom walk to the front of the stage – I don’t think the world needs another singer songwriter – I can recognize that I’ve got something to say and experimenting with writing a song might be exactly the kind of thing to spark my creativity.
It’s no secret that I have been on a journey of rediscovering what faith might look like in my life. That’s where a lot of my energy comes from these days and so it made sense to start there. I had a few lines bouncing around my head for a couple of weeks now but this lazy Saturday afternoon at home, with just me, my cat, and my dog, seemed like a great time to break out the guitar and play around with some thoughts.
I had two main ideas.
First, there’s the acknowledgement of, whatever might be out there on the other end of faith, it’s bigger than anything that any of us can imagine. It can’t be totally captured in scripture or experience or metaphor. It’s something more than all of that. It’s a mystery and it could turn out to be nothing.
Second, what I’ve told the people that I get to talk to about my own deconstruction and reconstruction process, is that I didn’t know what was true anymore. I had no idea what I could rely on or not. Literally, as I began to build back my understanding of God, I started with a single assumption – that whatever God turned out to be, if it was going to be worth the effort to pursue God, then it had to be good. It had to be good or nothing at all.
These ideas morphed into what I’m going to call Is It Love?
You are a mystery
And as our history unfolds
I’m overwhelmed by curiosity
Are you here with me
Or have you left me all alone?
Have I made illusion my reality?
I don’t know what I’m chasing anymore.
I wonder if I ever will be sure.
Is it love?
Is it love?
Is it love or is it nothing at all?
You seemed so much bigger.
You were a tower over me
But now I can’t figure just what you mean.
Do you satisfy me
Or do you pacify my soul?
Will you chastise me or make me whole?
I don’t know if I need you anymore.
I don’t know how I ever could be sure.
Even if there’s nothing I can find.
I can’t keep the thought of love from my mind.
They say you’re worth the risk but I will try?