Leaving The Light On



I was listening to one of my many morning playlists the other day, and I heard a song that resonated with me so much so that I listened to it another three times. 

If you are wondering what a "morning" playlist sounds like for me, think mellow... like acoustic, singer/songwriter, instrumental kind of mellow.  I save the hard rock for later in the day, or when I'm writing sermons.  

The song I was referring to is "If You Call," which is by Australian singer/songwriter, Angie McMahon, and the stanza in question goes something like this: 

I'm putting down the habit...
The habit of looking back on all of it and wishing I had done better.
Oh, I just wanna feel it, 
Feel that I like who I'm becoming...
Feel it all in the quiet.
I know the sun don't rise and set above me, 
I don't want you to compromise a lot to love me, 
But if you call
I'll turn on the light for you.
If you call
I'm gonna be bright for you
If you call…

There's so much going on in this song.  The line that captured my attention initially was the first one: 

I'm putting down the habit...
The habit of looking back on all of it and wishing I had done better.
Oh, I just wanna feel it, 
Feel that I like who I'm becoming...
Feel it all in the quiet.

For a lot of us, that line kind of sums up how we've felt off and on for the past couple of years, doesn't it?  I know I've spent far too much time looking back on all of the challenges I've faced and wished I'd done better in facing them.   

But the singer has finally reached a point where they can no longer live in regret.  Things fell apart, but they have discovered the grace to let go of all the guilt over what happened and to release the pain over the loss they've felt. 

This song speaks of heartbreak and loss, but it also speaks of hope, growth, and life.  The singer is speaking to their Beloved, who is far away, presumably the one who left.  

In spite of all of the hurt, the singer vows to keep a light on for their Beloved, knowing that the Beloved may never call.  It's an act of vulnerability that reveals a new heart-forward approach by the singer---born out of the maturity that suffering brings. 

The singer seems to be discovering the tentative peace that comes when we surrender our outcomes and open ourselves up to God's purposes.  

When I think about this now, I can easily hear the voice of God speaking the words of the singer, or listening to them.  The singer's voice can be my own, and it can also be the voice of God singing through me, and to me.  

There's so much broken beauty in this that it almost takes my breath away.  And this broken beauty is born out of the vulnerability it takes to love and be loved.  

And so we must choose to live in that openness and heart-forward vulnerability and risk the heartbreak that may come as a result.  Because the alternative is a tragic existence with a walled-off heart, and feelings of regret.  

So live with your lights on, filled with peace that God's purposes are at work in your life for good and not for ill.  Live with your lights on believing that whatever was lost will return to you in some way, shape, or form, and always in God's good time...

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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