Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Empty & Beautiful: Lay It Down

You know, I haven't really had enough time with most of the songs on this album to be able to trace how they will influence my prayer or serve as a vehicle for the Lord to speak to me. I was driving to adoration last night and since I finally had the actual CD I was listening to it in my car and I just appreciated carrying it with me into the chapel. Also as I drove to mass today I had the same experience and a sort of nostalgia too; when Matt's last album came out I was still living in Florida and I would drive the five minutes from my apartment to church every morning for mass and very often his words on that drive were the beginning of my day and my preparation for the holy sacrifice of the mass. In that early morning space when I was trying to prepare myself these songs would really shape the thoughts I brought to prayer.

What I was getting to is that this song has been nestled in my heart longer than the others on this album- I think I first heard those simple and poignant words everything I am/ everything I long to be/I lay it down at your feet on retreat and we sang it as an extra verse and layer with Charlie Hall's "Prepare the Way." (To this day I think that is the best place to layer these words, but I am biased.) Here is a live recording from that very retreat. The amazing voice you hear is my dear friend, Marci Ovadia.

Lindsay Myersprepare the way/lay it down

I understand that this probably needed a little more to be an actual full track on this album (although I would ask why we couldn't have "On the Third Day" and this as a hidden track or something) but I think these words are strong enough without the bridge. It's not that I dislike the bridge I just don't think it's necessary. I think the image of finding life in the gaze of Christ is rich, I'm not sure that it furthers the heart of this song which is simply to surrender.

This song is just so powerful and I think that power lies in it's ability to clearly convey and say aloud something so many of us have such a desire for and can't quite articulate before the Lord in a way that feels as monumental as the reality is. I think the fact that this song can really facilitate that repetition helps people overcome that cultural bias that because something doesn't feel true means it isn't real. I'm so glad to have this on an album so even more people can add it to their worship.

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