“I wrote these songs to sing in the dark”
HOW THE ALBUM CAME TO BE
I wrote these songs over a hard season when the old refrains couldn’t walk me a step further. I still needed to walk because many depended on me. And I needed to sing because I wasn't ready to die inside.
It was as if God himself led me to the brink of silence and pointed me to the blank page. "Say what you know, as you know it". But it sounds dumb. Infantile. Awkward. Self-indulgent. Unresolved. "There is no other way".
And so these came. Leaning on their rhythms and rhymes. For all their weakness, somehow strong enough to gird up my gangly burdens. And maybe yours.
They’re confessions about the weight and wonder of a long faith walk, sounded with a voice I’ve garnered at last as my own. Who'd have thunk it at this point of my life? Time has given way.
Whatever you've been waiting for, here's what I recommend -- Stand your ground, but don't harden your heart. Feel for the light and sing in the dark.
THE TITLE TRACK
Here's the story behind the title track of Time Gives Way as best I can say it. You know you can hardly ever say it all.
My friend Katie Small is a prophetic artist who delivers oracles with acrylic, oil and other fancy stuff. On my bedside table is her painting of a blue water kettle heating over red, yellow and orange flames. Next to the pot and extending as far as you can see, stands an army of endless tea cups, lined up and waiting for the precise boiling moment.
I had been reading from the Bible, Zech. 9: "As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you." I was puzzling about that term “prisoners of hope” and Katie’s image helped unlock it.
You’re waiting for a promise, for a dream, a judgment, a love, a land of your own. So many things. You have been waiting such a long time for that water to boil, to drink that tea. Don’t I know it?
The outcome is inevitable, but the process is dubious. We can’t tell a damn thing happening inside the pot, but only know we’re so thirsty and bored in this holding cell, even to the point of numbness or despair.
What are you waiting for? I hear the whistle. Time is giving way. Time to move from captivity to family. From silence to songs. From dreaming to life.
But we have to get back into position.