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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

hallelujah

I'm starting this series about Christian music, and a few songs that just might force you to reconsider your typical knee-jerk reaction to the genre, by focusing on a powerful song that I only recently began to pay attention to: "Hallelujah" by Heather Williams.

Starting with a few notes played on a piano, the song calmly takes form. It is soft, sweet. There is something simple, maybe even joyful in the notes. The lyrics begin, revealing, or at least implying, a deep hurt longing to be comforted. They are the words of a heart calling out for the Lord to be present, to enter into the pain.  

Jesus, please come.
Please come, today.
Heal me.
Hear me.
Be near me, I pray.

Slowly, the music begins to grow. And along with it, an increasing sense of urgency and sincerity takes shape.

I have fallen so far,
flat on my face.
I'm in need of your grace today.
I stumble and fall,
but in spite of it all 
your love always stays the same.
Hallelujah.
Hallelujah. 

Jesus, please come.
Please come, today.
Break me.
Mold me.
Use me, I pray.

But don't give up on me now.
I'm so close to you now.
I'm in need of your grace today.
Wipe the dirt off my face.
Hold me in your embrace.
Your love always saves the day.


And suddenly, what began as a melodious prayer erupts into an intense anthem. The words no longer sung, but rather belted from someplace deep within, unknown to the listener just moments before. The dramatic crescendo still follows the cry of the heart, rooted in hurt. But it is now hopeful. Powerful. Victorious. 

Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! 

On my knees here I fall,
in spite of it all.
Hallelujah!
And though it seems hard,
I'm still trusting you Lord.
Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!


The music fades, and the piano softly returns. But the calm is brief as the "hallelujahs" are once again sung in a powerful refrain proclaiming the Lord's faithfulness in the most difficult situations. 

I have fallen so far,
flat on my face.
I'm in need of your grace, today.
Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!


Jesus, please come.
Please come, today.

Now, it's your turn. Listen to the song and let me know what you think.

And in case you're wondering, Heather Williams wrote this song one year after her baby son died. In a moment of brokenness, she grabbed her husband's guitar and began to write, sing, and pray. This song was the result. It was an attempt to praise the Lord despite the tears, the hurt, and the lasting pain of losing her child. It was successful. In the midst of it all, she chose to trust and to sing "Hallelujah."

63 comments:

Enrich Design said...

I totally agree with your assessment of modern Christian music. This one has been my song of the week:
'I Need a Father' by Starfield

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwqrD3ioZOw

Amanda said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing! What an incredible song/pray. It compliments well a new favorite of mine ... Beautiful Things by Gungor. Hope all is well, Amanda from NNU

Robby Larson said...

Thanks Kyle and Amanda. I hadn't heard either of those songs before, but I really like them!

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