I discovered a new artist today. I was reading posts in the Facebook writer’s group, 1000 Voices for Compassion. And there in a post by Corinne Rodrigues was a YouTube video by Andrew Peterson. And it was a miracle. I clicked on the video and he sang my soul. Here is the original blog post. And here is the video.
Yesterday I posted a self-reflected goopy bit of nonsense about how I write and draw. Today, I realized I haven’t explained why I write and draw.
You can capture it in words. You can capture it in pictures. Like Andrew Peterson did, you can capture it in music. It is deep and profound and eternal… and you can’t really explain it, but it is the singularity… the right word… the way to caress the very face of God.
This music from Andrew Peterson is musical poetry that expresses love in terms of romance and religion. Love of the significant other is equal to and intertwined with the love of God. There is a truth in that, and a fundamental reason why despite how religion has let me down, I will never be an atheist again. Through the right words I have come to know God. I speak to him daily. I spent twenty years as a Jehovah’s Witness, even to the point of knocking on doors and sharing the little pamphlets that are supposed to contain the capital “T” Truth. I can’t do that any more, though. The thing is, they believe the chosen of God, the only people who can reach paradise, are the people who all say and do and believe the very same thing, the very same words. Anyone else is left to destruction. No paradise. No life after death. And they clearly tell you what the words are, and you must repeat them like a magic spell. Peterson’s music is forbidden. JW’s don’t want you to listen to anyone’s words but their own. So, since this is Christian music, but not JW Christianity, it is the work of the devil, trying to lead you to destruction. What kind of selfishness is this? And yes, I have repeatedly been shown the words in the Bible that say that this is so. But I have stopped believing that all words in the Bible are the right words. When the Bible speaks of love… those are the right words. When the Bible speaks about what you must hate and who is condemned… those are not.
You may have noticed that I have obsessively searched out and shared this Andrew Peterson music. I do that when I find the right words… good words… I obsessively want to find more and more. I did that once with butterflies. When I was a boy, I chased them down with nets and collected them. But you have to put butterflies in killing jars and then mount them on pins and Styrofoam boards to collect them. I realized too late that this was not the right way to treat them. You have to let them flutter in the sunshine and float on the breeze. You have to let them live. And so must you do with the right words when you find them. You must use them and share them and let them live.
Yes, the reason I write is because my life has been lived and it is coming to an end. But it is a good life. A life filled with wisdom and love and the very best of those words I have collected in butterfly nets over time. And I must share those very right words… and let them live because they are beautiful and true… and it is simply who I have to be.