“…it should obviously be the aim of the musician to die with all his music out of him; even if this ideal state of things can seldom be achieved.
The point is here, however, that it is not enough that the musician should get his music out of him. It is also his business to get his music into somebody else.”
Derek’s lyrics were a bright light directly in my face. They were a mirror one inch from my eyeballs, allowing me to see every imperfection and hypocritical flaw in me. They were a steady reminder of my great sin and my great savior.
For the last 18 years of her life, my Mamah was a brilliant, self-educated, Reformed Baptist, Puritan, Calvinist theologian.
And I had absolutely no idea.
Even though I have undergrad and graduate education in Biblical studies, philosophy, and apologetics, and even though my theological interests quite eerily mirrored hers for the past six years, I was almost completely in the dark about the depth and scope of my Mamah’s extensive study.
How, then, do I know for certain of her theological bent, and dedication with equal parts of her mind and heart to the Word of God?
Because she left me her books.
I knew, even while I was writing these responses to her, that we were actually conspiring together, with God kind of guiding our hands, on the shape of the future of my family. Even generations after me. And Mamah’s words were what started it all.
One of the most important lessons I’m going to remember always, from her, is this: words matter. That sometimes, we need to say to ourselves, “This needs to be said. I love you, and you need to hear this.”
I’m talking about the truth you know you’re supposed to speak, the work of art you’re supposed to create, the words you are supposed to write, the quest you are supposed to embark upon, the risky thing God has called you to that looks ridiculous to everyone else.
The person you are supposed to be, are called to be, but are afraid to become.
You know it, you see that it is good, you even have repeated confidence and assurance that this is from God. But you run. You take the safe and easy way out. And inside, it haunts you every day.
This is an excerpt from a letter written by English poet and artist William Blake. Now, make no mistake, Blake was a really weird guy, with some very eclectic and heterodox religious views. I am not in any way endorsing…