There are two versions of the same song on this album I own. The first version is slow and soulful, the other one has a techno beat. I like the techno version, it’s different, interesting. But the soulful one has something the other doesn’t—one note.
I was listening to this album the other day while I was driving around, my phone was on shuffle and the two versions just happened to play in succession. At one point, I turned to the person riding with me and said, “That note, right there, is why this version is my favorite.”
My passenger raised an eyebrow, the artist I was listening to isn’t for everyone, but I think she got it. A major note, it bursts from a minor key and gives me goose bumps. The sound resonates and reminds me of how God’s love can feel—shocking and sweet at the same time. That one note is what makes this song true.
You know that note?
An authentically winsome smile on a teenager.
The pure sunrise trill of a tiny-boned sparrow after a long night.
The exhausted victor’s tears of a mother at her first child-glimpse.
The right words, both kind and real, that begin to mend a broken heart.
Jesus, to the woman at the well.
There are a million ways to emotionally manipulate people, to draw tears, incite anger, make a heart beat faster. But it’s just that—manipulation, if it isn’t true. Courageous honesty is what we have to search for, find and deliver as writers, artists, people.
Only authentic strokes, notes, words and actions will redeem the lies and pain and darkness—turn them to truth, joy and light. Jesus loved us too much to give us anything less. Truth is what people unknowingly long for, and we’re called to follow Jesus’ example and bring it. Living and working in the medium of authenticity isn’t easy, but God gives us no other options.
"Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long..."