Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He Writes the Songs

Bob Dylan turned 70 this week. He is one of the most unusual human beings that has ever come along. His interviews, which have been few and far between, leave most people with a big question mark - who is this guy and what did he just say? He is not a a PR guy - he has never been fashionable but he can do one thing - he can write a song. His voice is odd, his stage presence is non-existent, and his concern for what the audience thinks is not even on his radar - but he can write a song.

Those who have followed his career for the past 50 years have seen him develop the craft of song writing in ways that are almost beyond comparison. He is a poet but he seems to have no agenda. People have always wanted him to explain his songs - he refuses. He is not political, not interested in what the critics think and has little interest in discussing his songs - he just writes and sings the songs. The songs are just "Blowin' in the Wind" - make of them what you will.

I read about a great painter who was asked about one of his great paintings - "What is this work about?' - he shrugged his shoulders and said, "What do you think it is about?"

Dylan often tells the truth in his songs in a clever way - like the song "Gotta Serve Somebody". With this almost hypnotic feel he keeps saying, whoever you are, you're gonna serve somebody - it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna serve somebody.

Songs are often one of the most powerful ways to make people think about their lives, even if the songwriter was just writing a song.

Perhaps this is why the Psalms speak to us the way they do - they are after all songs - songs of the soul. Sometimes the Psalm writer is broken hearted and in a pit and the song comes from that place. Sometimes the Psalm writer is celebrating victory and the song lifts us up and celebrates our faith in God. There is nothing quite like a song to touch the human heart.

When my daughter was just a baby we would sing to her songs that we made up and as we held her in our arms and sang those songs her eyes would light up with joy!

Scripture pictures God singing over us - what an amazing and powerful image of his love for us - our God singing over us! (Zeph. 3:17)

I will never be a Dylan - songwriting is not my gift - but I do have so many songs in my heart. The gift of a song that touches something deep inside the human spirit - I am thankful.

Makes me want to sing!

Just thinking, (and singing) Steve

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