Have you ever been given a topic to write on? Have you been given a single word with which to craft something?
These kinds of exercises can be good for us in that they stretch our creativity, and build writing-endurance muscles, especially through repetition. I have taken part in a couple daily writing prompts through Hope Writers, and each time I was amazed at what thoughts spilled out onto the paper. We would start with a single word, and craft from there.
So, when I joined Nashville Christian Songwriters, I was pleased to find out that they have a monthly song challenge. They pick a topic, or theme, for each month and encourage the members to try and write a song around it. I have participated three months in a row now, and have (yet again) been amazed at what can spill out onto the paper.
“Wait and Hope” was the song from April, and the theme was resurrection. The Easter season is a wonderfully fitting time to meditate on Christ’s resurrection, and I was excited to try and capture my thoughts through music. So, I started journaling.
I am often asked what my song writing process is, and while I don’t have a consistent method, journaling has always proven to be a great place to start. I just spill out all of my mental ramblings down on paper. Write and don’t stop. The goal is to fill an entire page, or two if I can. Then I go back and read, and pay attention to repetition. If something stands out, I try to develop that idea further.
For resurrection, my ramblings pointed to a flow through time. What was Good Friday like? How about that Sabbath Saturday? What was that first Easter morning like?? Basically, I was drawn into the emotions of that time. Our church family was walking through a portion of Romans 8 that week too, and much of my writing drew from Paul’s words as well. I then compiled everything into lists:
Friday’s list looked like this: death, darkness, evil, brokenness, cast off, grief, bondage to corruption.
Saturday’s list: we wait, wait eagerly, groaning, hope, patience, sufferings of this present time, struggle to rest or trust, uncertainty, lost.
And Sunday’s list: transformation, set free, obtain freedom, redemption, glory, light, new creation.
Have you ever thought through those three days in respect to our journeys of faith? Before we come to know Christ, we live in a sort of Friday tension. We may not know we live in that tension, or may even deny we do, but it is in realizing that tension that we enter into our “Saturday”.
I feel like the lives we live in the here and now, once saved by God’s grace, exist in a sort of Saturday tension. We have hope, but we still struggle. Things around us feel broken. We can lack patience and peace. We are eagerly waiting for our Sunday resurrection.
The passage in Romans I was most drawn to speaks of our groaning “as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved.” (8:23-24) The joys that Jesus’ followers felt on that first Easter morning had to have been one of the greatest motivators for their service. They faced persecution, but yet they had hope.
Something needs to motivate us toward good too, and I believe the hope of Christ can be that fuel. I believe, too, that God graces us with Sunday moments…like energy bars for our races. He is so good to us.
I pray this song helps you see the journey of faith you’re on with clarity and joy. I pray you can find an anchoring hold in the hope that we eagerly wait for. I pray you hear the freedom and peace extended through His resurrection. Enjoy the music.