Thursday, March 12, 2015

Shatter The Glass

Shatter the glass.  Don't just open it and let some fresh air in.  I need HELP - not just a little change here and there.  I need a NEW perspective.  A completely different view!

Do you ever feel that way?

A friend of mine had her life turned upside down when she moved to FL for a job opening, lost the job and then found out she had cancer.  Her world was shattered and not in a good way.  At first.

She moved back to PA and somehow found my music and we have become friends as a result.  One thing has led to another and she asked me to do a concert to help her raise money for an organization that took her by the hand and helped her to see a whole new world as a result of her journey with cancer.

We met at a coffee shop to talk about prayer, life and the concert.  When she told me some of the songs she wanted me to do, I said to her " you want all the dark songs?"  (I have a tendency to write on the dark side, although my most recent CD "Portraits of White" wouldn't agree with that - thank God!)  But left to my own devices, I do tend to write introspectively because frankly, that's the window from which I tend to sit and peer into life.  Slowly, over time, sunlight is starting to break through my window.

As we sipped our coffee, she pulled out an old song of mine - "Shatter The Glass" and asked me about it. As I began to share with her, I was reminded of how the song does seem to touch something deep inside people who have walked through tough seasons.  I went home and began working on a video of images to go with the song.  I was shocked to receive the following words in an e-mail from her.

"So I've been thinking about something you said Thursday, when I made known to you my 3 song requests for the concert. I don't recall your exact words, but I think you said something about them being dark songs.

For those of us like you, who have experienced death of loved ones too much, and for me, who has experienced a life-threatening illness (and my Dad's death), we see life differently. We see the darkness in life. Life is raw! Life is hard! Life isn't always fun! From my own experience, there were so many things I faced for the first time physically, as I was battling the cancer, that were just downright raw, and very humbling! I was not one to get sick. The worst I would get was a cold, stomach bugs, and maybe a touch of the flu every so often, but other than the day I was born, I had never spent time in a hospital. Had never been operated on. I didn't like taking medication, even over the counter. I was happy to keep the doctor away!

Your songs speak to the "rawness" of life! They are honest and they are authentic! They don't apologize...they just tell it like it is! I relate to that and I so appreciate that type of honesty and vulnerability.

But here's the don't leave your listeners in the "dumps", wallowing in that rawness. You bring your listeners up and you give them hope! You lift them up to Jesus!

For instance, in Nobody Sees...

"Nobody sees all those places I've been,
All the mistakes and my secret sins.
All of the tears when I fall on my face,
All of the times I'm in need of Your grace.
But You love me,
And forgive me"

I mean come on, how powerful are those words! The rawness is seen in the mistakes we have made and those secret sins that we hide from the world. But then look, there's a way out...God's grace, God's love, God's forgiveness! It doesn't get any better than that, does it?!

Those are not dark songs Frances! You don't write dark songs! Those are songs of love, and hope, and forgiveness, and second chances, and on and on...

To use a musical term that I have no idea what it is...your music has struck a chord with me. Your music speaks into my life and draws me closer to God! How can I not thank God for you and share it with the world!"

Thank you, my dear friend. Thanks for encouraging me to keep writing authentically.  May the music continue to help you 'see the view from heaven' as we work together to help shatter the glass and pull others from dark places.