I’ve been writing poems since I was a kid. I have an old notebook filled with really simple elementary rhymes about an old red truck (I listened to country growing up. Makes sense right?) and being on fire for God (classic youth group imagery right there). The more that I’ve written, especially this year, the more I’ve seen my reason for writing. I don’t know if I knew this what why I wrote, or if the meaning found me but here it is.
It’s to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
After spending a month in a hospital with my daughter right after she was born my wife and I were confronted with a lot of hurt pain and joy. All mashed together. Some people were crying and celebrating because their kids were getting better. Others were there crying because their kids weren’t getting any better or had even left this world altogether.
I’ve been to many funerals in my life, but I haven’t been to many hospitals. Funerals seem like the time where even though were sad and it’s hard, they are more removed from the fighting for their life than in hospitals. The realization that someone is here and then isn’t any longer is one of the rawest emotions that I truly struggle with every time I'm faced with it.
For those people, I want to comfort them. They need our love. Our support.
I found myself turning off the radio after a recent friend lost their newborn daughter. Those songs just don’t work in a time like that. I wanted to be that voice, that friend that walked together with them through the pain. Through the unknown, having no answers for them that could take it away. I want my songs to find them and offer just that. A friendship that carries them through.
In the same breath, I want to wake up those who are sleeping. I don’t want people to miss this life. We’ve only got one. What a shame to waste it on thinking that we can coast. To those, I hope my songs kick them off the couch and into action. To see life through someone else’s eyes. To engage the world in which they live.
Like a hospital has doctors and nurses that see patients on the rise and the fall, I want the songs I write and sing to be there for all.