You need to have a song . . .

A couple weeks ago we attended the CCDA National Conference, and while there were many take-aways and inspiring speeches, one of the small and simple statements that has stuck with me came from Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (who has a penchant for such things). The final question in a the panel discussion of practitioners working to create flourishing communities was “How do you keep at it?” Jonathan, who’s sat at the feet of civil rights leaders told us that “You need some songs you can sing. . .” At times it wasn’t any theological truth that kept people marching, but the power of a song–together or when you’re all alone.

We sung every morning at Koinonia, and I admit that at times I took it for granted, or in my struggles and morning grumpy/grogginess. Some of the songs though, like “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” “Down by the Riverside,” and “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” and “Everyone ‘Neath Their Vine & Fig Tree,” kept me going through hard times, and I would remember how this has always been the case. One song that has always done this for me is Ben Harper’s “Better Way.”

I’m a living sunset
lightning in my bones
push me to the edge
but my will is stone

cause i believe in a better way

fools will be fools
and wise will be wise
but i will look this world
straight in the eyes

cause i believe in a better way

i believe in a better way

what good is a man
who won’t take a stand
what good is a cynic
with no better plan

cause i believe in a better way

i believe in a better way

(hope these words feel pleasant
as they rest upon your ears)

reality is sharp
it cuts at me like a knife
everyone i know
is in the fight of their life

And i believe in a better way

take your face out of your hands
and clear your eyes
you have a right to your dreams
and don’t be denied

i believe in a better way

One thought on “You need to have a song . . .

  1. Matt, I loved your words, the video and Ben Harper’s song “I believe in a better way.”. Thank you. Plus Ben Harper is also easy on the eyes.

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