Echo in a dark valley

There is no end to this story
No final tragedy or glory
Love came here and never left

Now that my heart is open
It can't be closed or broken
Love came here and never left

Now I'll have to live with loving you forever

There's nothing here to throw away
I came to you in the light of day
and Love came here and never left


Christ-ones see echoes of Christ in the ashes everywhere. This song by the dark, beautiful, belated Lhasa de Sela would be my song to my Savior. She speaks elsewhere of le Diable j'ai choisi le plus (the Devil I have chosen, "La Confession") and Je n'ai pas peur de dire que tu me fais peur avec ton espoir et ton grand sens de l'honneur ("I am not afraid to tell you that you scare me with your Hope and your huge sense of honor").

Road trips to and from Rochester provided lots of time to listen to music - and lots of time to ponder what to listen to when children listen along. I grew up on a steady diet of jazz, classical, and sacred hymns, and infused that mix myself with everything secular I could get my hands on by middle school. Believe it or not, Christian music was worse in the 1990's than it is now. There are few musicians - even today - who play contemplative, jazz-infused music, with the possible (and notable) exception of J.J. Heller, who is overplayed because of her unique offering. Her music is similar to the strangely laissez faire but sunshine-infused Indie soundtrack of Juno. A young pastor reflects on the plethora of poor quality Christian music releases and ultimately quotes Madeleine L'Engle:
If it's bad art, it's bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.
Ultimately, God assures us that, if Christians are silent and void of praise, even the rocks will cry out! Is it too difficult to draw connections, then, between the lyrics of secular artists and the great Truth of the universe? So, what makes the mix at our home? There is a lot of the blues, a lot of jazz, some country, even some metal and rap. Who knew that Bible verses are paraphrased by Linkin Park ("I will never be anything 'til I break away from me"), Pearl Jam works faith out on their knees, and former-rebel Sinead O'Connor is now putting Psalms to melody?

Where do you hear the echoes of God's Word? What blasphemy do you deny access to your home, the ears of your children? Do you have a favorite radio station or music mix? Those who listen to secular music may appreciate the Glimpses of God column from Christianity Today as a place to start discovering hidden sheaves of wheat among the tares of the music scene.