We sit outside under a starry blanket, the evening breeze wafting the smell of burning persimmon wood through the air. After we fill our bellies and our glasses, four songwriters take the stage.
The crowd gathers to listen—some at round tables, others on bales of hay covered with blankets. The moon, just a sliver of light in the sky above, flashes a playful Cheshire cat grin.
Four ordinary cowboys, with nothing but pick and guitar, take turns singing songs they’ve written and sold to celebrity singers all over the country. Each tells the story of his song.
I’m amazed that every one of these songwriters can truly sing.
One explains how the lyrics to a love song actually came from a game of hide-n-seek played by his kids playing in the next room.
Another talks about a writing technique I’m familiar with yet struggle to implement. He takes a common phrase and swaps the words to make it his own. I wasn’t expecting writing inspiration when I said yes to my husband’s invitation tonight.
For the rest of the evening, I listen with an attentive ear. I sense God wants to say something personal to me. The next songwriter shares that he cannot write a song unless it’s true. Every one of his songs resonate with me.
Each intriguing explanation invites curiosity.
Before the night concludes, the fourth cowboy sings a song meant to be funny. One of the lines of the chorus sounds like this: “I’ve got all this talent, but no one knows my name.”
It’s true that I know the words to many of the songs performed here tonight, but I don’t know the men who wrote them.
I start to realize I’ve been missing so much. I ask God to show me what He is trying to teach me. A few days later, I jot these words in my journal:
What happens when the story of a song is lost?
Years ago, I read a fabulous book by Emily Freeman called A Million Little Ways. In it, she talks about how we are God’s workmanship, His poem. Art can’t be separated from artist without losing something precious.
God—both Artist and Creator—writes His story all over our lives. How can we ever expect to understand what’s going on in our lives if we never stop to understand the One writing each word? God encourages us to listen to what grieves Him and what makes His heart leap.
God invites us to know Him.
Created cannot truly live apart from the Creator. There’s something inside that longs to know Him, whether we realize it or not.
Get to know the One who is writing your story. Ask Him about the lyrics He’s chosen. Listen to what inspires Him. It’s the best invitation you’ll ever receive.