Friday, April 17, 2009

Something for the weekend.

This is "God stuff" so if you're not into that, feel free to skip.

I am not generally fond of "contemporary Christian" music. I recognize that my failure to be moved by it is often a failure in me, rather than a failing of the music. (Though I do think there are some "praise songs" that are theologically or artistically weak, but that's not the topic here).

But last Christmas, a young woman who sings in the church choir with my parents sang a song called "Breath of Heaven." I had never heard it before, didn't know it was an Amy Grant was the first time I had ever heard it.

And it was all I could do not to put my head down on the back of the pew in front of me and sob. For some reason the song hits me in a very vulnerable place.

I think part of it is the chorus, which I find haunting and beautiful:

"Breath of heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me, breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven, lighten my darkness, pour over me your holiness..."

Even though the song is specifically about Mary - it imagines some of her thoughts on the way to Bethlehem - I still think that prayer, asking to be "held together" is something so universal among believers. I think that's why it got to me - there are literally days when I have prayed something like that: "God, just let me get through this day. Just let me manage until I can go home at the end of the day. Please keep me from falling apart"

It's funny - at times it seems like such a small prayer compared to some things some people ask for (or some things I have prayed for in the past). But at the times I've prayed it, when I really was in some kind of extreme situation, it was literally the only prayer I could squeak out, and the ONLY thing in the world I wanted.

And you know, it's always come through. I've managed...maybe I didn't totally avoid tears, or maybe the day didn't get any EASIER, but I still managed to make it through.

Oh, and the part where she sings, "Help me be strong ....Help me me" gets me too.

Like most things out there, there's a version on YouTube. (I think it's Amy Grant singing on this one). (And amazingly, it's one of the few things I've seen on YouTube that has mostly positive and supportive comments).

So, in case the song is unfamiliar to you (or if it's familiar, and you just want to hear it again):

1 comment:

The Fifth String said...

Well, you know I'm not a religious person, but I do like a lot of gospel songs, particularly country gospel but also the old black gospel and spirituals.

Never listened much to Amy Grant, but that's a pretty song.