Well, as summer has been in full swing, I've slowed down with the songwriting a bit. But, I've been in Nashville getting tunes ready for the next album. Things are sounding great and we are getting close! Only a couple of songs left!! Meanwhile, I've been working on a song from Psalm 1 that will hopefully be pretty rad, and I have only one rewrite left! Here is the second to last rewrite. It has been retitled, "So I Wait."
This song is from Psalm 130. It has the famous lines, "I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits. In his word, I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for morning." In my original song, I didn't include the watchmen idea because I felt like several worship songs in the 90s used that idea out of context. This Psalm opens with: "Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord. Hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sings, Lord, who could stand? But, with you there's forgiveness so that you may be feared." The original song was far too wordy, but did capture the element of being stuck in a miserable, destitute place because of sin. But, it wasn't a hopeless place.
When working on the rewrite, I penned these words from the Psalm to a melody: "Lord, if you, if you kept a record of sin, who could stand. But with you, there's forgiveness, so I wait with the watchmen." I realized that the watchmen idea was such perfect imagery by the Psalmist. I've only had one particularly scary instance (that I won't recall to you now) of being awake and attentive in the middle of the night and waiting for the morning to come. I needed the morning to come to bring clarity and light to my situation. Our hope in the Lord in the dark places of sin is SO like that. When we are in the midst of really dark situations because our own sinful desires have gotten us there, but we cry out for help to the Father: help is on its way. It is as sure as the morning.
The second verse starts with, "So keep my soul awake to the night, with eyes set on your promise." I had this sense that I was supposed to tie this Psalm into the parables that Jesus gives about waiting for the return of the Father. The foolish servant doesn't expect his master's return. The wise virgins await the groom prepared. The foolish don't. I don't want to become deadened to my sin and the weight of sin in this world and not be ready for His return or His work in my life. That is what the second verse becomes about. It ends with "'cause I don't want to be left outside, when Your redemption comes calling."
But, the glorious part of this song is when the Lord brought himself back into it. So, the bridge takes us into the parables: we wait with the watchmen and the servants, the oil burning as the virgins wait, all the imagery Jesus gives. And then God was so good to connect Jesus and His work on the cross and His return with the Psalm: "We are waiting with hope in the sureness of the dawn, with hope that the dark won't overcome, with hope in the strength of the Risen Son; Our Hope."
The last part of this writing that was so fun was that two good friends of mine were in the writing process with me and helping me pick out some seriously good, but non-conventional, chord progressions. It was a seriously fun and life giving song to write! So, I hope you enjoy it!
So I Wait
Out of the depths I cry
Father, hear my voice
I’m in a dark of my own design
The grim whole of my choices
Lord, if You, if You kept a record of sin,
Who could stand?
But with You, there’s forgiveness, so I wait
With the watchmen
So keep my soul awake to the night
With eyes set on Your promise
‘Cause I don’t want to be left outside
When Your redemption comes calling
With the watchmen and the servants
Oil burning with assurance
You’re returning though no one knows when
We are waiting
In the sureness of the dawn
That the dark won’t overcome
In the strength of the Risen Son
My name is complicated. My parents named me Theresa. My friends call me "Pinky." My professional title is "Ms. Lindell." Choose one.