musically homeless

Today I can’t stop listening to and thinking about the song “Playing Hookey” by Andre Henry. Have you heard it? (Take a listen! I’ll wait…)

Over the last few years, in the process of deconstruction/reconstruction, the strangest thing has happened. I have trouble listening to and singing a lot of the music I used to and have had difficulty finding much to replace it. I began to associate Christian worship music with lights, fog machines, pleas for the congregation to stand and raise their hands and move their bodies, and lots of performance, even though it has been a powerful way that God has spoken to me in the past. It felt off to sing so many songs about victory for me as a privileged individual when so many siblings in the body of Christ are suffering while the Church has remained disturbingly silent. 

As I’ve pursued a more contemplative life, I find that I can hear God more in the silence and don’t need to work up to connection with God through music; I can connect more easily with God now in everyday moments than I could before. I don’t discount the importance of worship music; this is just where I am right now in my spiritual journey. 

But. I really do miss connecting deeply with music. I decided to start a playlist of a few songs that I have been listening to and to actively try to find more to add.
Music and singing have always been an important part of my life, so when I find a song that speaks to me, it’s particularly meaningful right now when I’m missing my connection to music so much. Andre Henry’s “Playing Hookey” and this version of “Brother” by The Brilliance, featuring Propaganda, have been so powerful to me. I love hearing my 4 year old singing, “Be humble, sit down. When I look into the face of my enemy, I see my brother, I see my brother.” This one feels like a prayer every time I sing it:

The third song on my mind is “White Jesus” by Seun “S.O.” Otupke. I first heard about this one when he was interviewed on an episode of the Pass the Mic podcast (which I highly recommend!).

I’ve been working to decolonize my faith, and understanding the impact of “White Jesus” has been an important part of my learning as I try to separate out my culture from my faith.
The deconstruction/decolonization process is tied up with so many emotions for me. Sometimes music helps me identify, express, and work through them, and gives me the words I need to pray about what I’m feeling and learning. What music is speaking to you lately?

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