“Like a foolish dreamer trying to build a highway to the sky/ All my hopes would come tumbling down/ And I never knew just why/ Until today, when you pulled away the clouds/ That hung like curtains on my eyes.”– “Your Love Broke Through” by Keith Green
I first heard this song in my studio apartment just after I moved to Nashville. After rediscovering my faith while at Kansas University, I went through a period of renewing my relationship with Christ. It didn’t affect my life much at first, but as time went by everything began to change. My former life suddenly felt like a dark dream one day when I’d finished jogging through campus. I was looking around the north edge of the campus on my right and the nearby neighborhood apartments on my left, and every color became dazzling like someone had upgraded my senses from analogue to High Definition television. It was extraordinary!
Of course, my senses became accustomed, or used to, this new clarity but it was the beginning of a peace that lasted mostly uninterrupted for the rest of my time at the university. The opening lines to the song listed above hit me hard, and I nearly cried with joy when I heard them. “Real life” hadn’t hit me just yet, but the music and lyrics took me back to that day when my perspective on life suddenly changed.
Many years have passed since the day I first heard Keith Green’s beautiful song, and I had quite frankly forgot about it until this evening when it found its way out of my Ipod and into the air while I was reading. Could it be a coincidence that I heard this song at a time when I’m trying to regain some of that childlike faith I had when I first heard it so long ago? Maybe. Still, that gratefulness Green sings about in this song remains relevant in my life. Especially now when my heart is yearning for that relationship I had back in those days of regained innocence.
The good news is that even a war torn spirit can still feel that presence, that peace that surpasses understanding. It comes with an earnest desire for the presence of God. Often, the scars are so deep that the peace doesn’t last for long. War wounds will continue to be ripped open by the Enemy that gave them in the first place until the conflict has finally ceased forever. That’s the nature of the war I find myself in. Fortunately, the healing J brings is the foe of death and injury.
The better news is that the healing I’m seeking, the peace that comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit, literally comes from a higher power. The writer of the“Serenity Prayer” was onto something. The love of God does indeed breakthrough and the peace, though often fleeting, keeps returning to heal the wounds that have built up during the course of the war we call real life.
Today, the song that made me nearly cry when I first heard it, reminds me that that peace that comes with his presence, still more my relationship with him, continues to be real despite the artillery shells being thrown at it. The accumulated wounds still hurt but I’m reminded, again, that they’re not fatal. Stumble as I may in my weaknesses, the hand of my Friend is still there to lift me up again. His love breaks through the Enemy’s lines, not just once but every day the battle continues to rage on, and there are moments when the clouds of mortar shells part, and I can see more clearly.