I've been listening to a lot of good new music lately, and one of my favorite albums from the past few months is by singer/songwriter Luke Sital-Singh, a British artist who now resides in Los Angeles.
On his latest album, an EP entitled Strange Weather, there is a song that blew me away, and I can't stop listening to it. The song is "Hallelujah Anyway," and the chorus goes like this:
Can I sing hallelujah anyway?When the days are longAnd the night won't fadeHallelujah anywayThough the pain is realAnd I'm not okCan I sing hallelujah anyway?
Sital-Singh isn't an overtly religious artist, but there is an unmistakable spirituality to so much of his work. And this song puts that on display.
It speaks to the moments when we feel as though there doesn't seem to be any end in sight for whatever obstacles we are facing in life or the challenges we are having to go through in the moment.
And in those moments, we have a choice to make. We can refuse to let our light go out or succumb to the darkness. We can let our voice fall silent, or we can sing our hallelujah.
The bridge to the song has this bit of amazingness as well.
I'll keep singing like a lonely choirEvery note is floating higherWhen my voice breaksAnd I can't see straightSomething stops me giving in...
I can't tell you how much that fires me up. I want so desperately to always have that kind of reaction to the difficulties I face in life.
I want to embrace the hope that the "Something" that stops me from giving in when I'm going through tough times is nothing less than the presence of a God who is with me at my worst and loves me toward my best.
And I want to keep singing.
I believe that every one of us wants to believe that we will find the strength to sing our hallelujah even during the worst moments of our life. We want to believe that we will discover the power to belt out our song even when our voice breaks.
But so few of us do this when given the opportunity to sing while going through hell.
Instead, we fall silent and turn our gaze inward. We find fault with ourselves or with others. We let self-pity and shame drive the train down tracks that lead us nowhere.
And our song of defiant hope--our "Hallelujah Anyway"---gets choked and goes unheard.
We were not meant for silence. We were meant to sing our song of defiant hope. The God who placed that song within us longs for us to sing it loud enough for all to hear and feel it deep within us.
So sing your hallelujah. Sing it anyway. No matter what you face today, let your hallelujah be the thing you hear, the words that shape you and fill you with the intense love that overcomes all fear.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.