I have been deeply moved by the music written by Tenth Avenue North’s lead singer Mike Donehey. In almost all of his music, I see my story, and I see him showing me how Jesus loves me in it. Without even knowing me, Mike Donehey and the band minister Jesus to the deepest part of my heart. A part of my heart I continually protect from even the people closest to me.
Sometimes it seems difficult to be understood in our must vulnerable expressions. We have each learned that exposing our most beautiful authentic side exposes ourselves to be unloved, used, or grossly misunderstood. We, like small children, are quick learners that it is dangerous to be known. Yet we desperately yearn for it. Yearning is too small a word. We live for it. The question is not whether we need to be known and understood by others, the question is whether it is worth the suffering that the striving brings.
The high goal is to strive for that mutual knowledge, the mutual understanding in our closest relationships. The reality is, sometimes we are too weary to endure another minute of shame and frustration in the fight to be understood and known.
Music is a way God is telling you that he gets you. A song that describes your story, your feelings, your yearning so accurately that you spontaneously laugh, weep, dance and worship for a reason you cannot define. God is telling you through that song that he understands exactly where you are at. And you are not alone. The song was written by another human, and is resonates with a whole group of humanity.
So music of all types can be a profound comfort to people in all levels of pain, even if the message of the music is not particularly comforting. It says “You are not alone.” You are sharing in an experience of life that is shared by others, and God sees the authentic expression of your heart, and keeps loving you still.