Artist Sharpening Artist Series: Part One

The City Harmonic, My God

(Please watch the video here when you get a chance.)

I admire singers and musicians. They can sing and I cannot. They can play instruments and I just stare at stringed things and suffer the fear of the unknown. Many of us here are storytellers, are we not? And songwriters, well, they just tell shorter stories. It makes us sort of brethren. Except they wear skinny jeans and shake their tushes, while we stay in our pajamas as long as possible and watch our ankles swell.

Skinny jeans, check!

Skinny jeans and tush-shaking all rolled into one.

Lately, I’ve discovered I need these Christian tush-shakers while I work things out in my head because more and more often, I find myself up against walls in my writing.

Take the song My God by The City Harmonic, for example. I really got into this song when I was at the gym one day, riding one of those accursed stationary bikes. Maybe it was because I had to suffer through a really hard bike seat, maybe because it’s a really good song, or maybe it was because I really needed it that day, but whatever it was, the song struck me in a multitude of ways.

I lift my eyes up,
in these days of trouble.
Will my help come from You?
And if I stumble,
will You pick me up?
What else could a father do?
Well, You know just where I’m going.
You made the open road.
So take my hand, Lord, and lead me home.”

Yes, God, I would like to ask You that: Will You pick me up if I stumble, if I fall, if I just generally suck at this writing thing? Oh yes, what else would a father do?

Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
I lift my heart up,
whether it’s whole or broken,
good God I know You’re gonna work it out.
So on my heart beats
to a beat that I put my hope in
the love of my God pouring out.”

God, I have to be honest here. I’m already coming to the table broken, and writing . . . well, sometimes it feels like it requires things of me that I don’t think I have left. Oh, but, okay . . . I see . . .You’re gonna work it out.

Yeah
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
I will sing, sing, sing and You will be my song.
Yeah.

But, people’s ears hurt when I try that, so I think I’m going to write, write, write and You will be my page.

I’m gonna [write] it like it’s everything to me,
I’m gonna [write] it like the deep calling out to deep
I’m gonna [write] it like it’s all I’ve got
‘Cause all that I want is to [write] for the love of God.

I’m gonna [write] it like it’s everything to me,
I’m gonna [write] it like the deep calling out to deep.
I’m gonna [write] it like it’s all I’ve got
‘Cause all that I want is to [write, write, write].”

iPod shuffle: the poor man's iDevice.

iPod shuffle. It may be the poor man’s iDevice, but it packs a bunch of awesomeness on it for me.

And then there’s a clash of cymbals and the beat hastens. My iPod shuffle is cranked so loud that I don’t notice I’m singing. I don’t notice the RPMs on my exercise bike are over 100 or that everyone around is staring at me, but by goodness, I’m singing, singing, singing about writing, writing, writing. And the world is good and meaningful and suddenly I have strength.

All from one little song.

And then I wonder, can I make someone feel the same thing from my words? Hmm, it doesn’t really matter, does it? All that matters is we’re doing it for the love of God.

Thank you, The City Harmonic. You’ve sharpened me. I hope I can return the favor one day.

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2 thoughts on “Artist Sharpening Artist Series: Part One

  1. I so agree. I definitely need music to help me write. In fact, my first ms is about a man who inspires people with his music. The muse for that was Third Day Revelations. My current WIP’s muse is Needtobreathe’s Reckoning. Thanks for the Youtube link, too. Great song! One cannot have too many muses.

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