A Prayer of Pain, Fear, and Loss \\ our recording of “Bring Him Home”

Your ears are abuzz with news of war. What do you do? 

man reading newspaper
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Our fifth grader relayed some conversations among her school friends involving running away to Canada and hiding under branches. Should I laugh, or nod with concern? Lord, help us.

Your own child is headed off to war.  What do you do?

animal army battle canine
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My (Naomi’s) brother was deployed many times on dangerous missions with Army Special Ops.  Mom did lots of praying.

Your neighbor or church friend has recent vivid memories of literally running through branches to escape the machetes of the rebel forces.

What do you do?

You care.
You pray.
You listen.
You seek wisdom.
You show love.

So much is out of our control.  But how we think about others, how we care about others, how we try to understand others – this is all up to us.

In this issue of SongNotes from the Birds, please let this emotive song give you pause to see others’ pain in a new way and to offer open hands to the One who takes and gives and hears and loves beyond our comprehension.

(originally released January 2019)
Notes by Nathan…

In “Bring Him Home” Jean Valjean sings a prayer over Marius while he sleeps that sounds like it’s part lullaby, part heart cry, part reflection on his own mortality.  Valjean is anticipating a horrible battle the next morning with the odds stacked against them.

Kretzmer’s words show a change in Valjean through this song. At the beginning of the song the character remembers God’s provision: “in my need you have always been there.” By the end of the song, however, Valjean is reminding himself of the truth that God has the ultimate power: “You can take. You can give. Let him be. Let him live.”  For Valjean to say “If I die, let me die, let him live” I’m reminded of John 15:13.  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

I’ve known for a while that the first change that our prayer makes in the world is not to change our circumstances, or others, or God, but our prayer must first change us.  Prayer adjusts our perspective to put us in our place and refresh our awareness of God’s place.

This song begs the question, however.  Am I willing to be the answer to the prayer that I am praying?  Even if it means I lose everything?