SO I may have made a big deal about a certain band of musical brothers coming to State College last Friday.
The deal I made I do not regret or feel that it was over-kill. Not at all. In fact I woke up Saturday morning sad and almost tearing up over the fact that it was over. But it was so wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely time! So what makes these Brothers so good you ask? (FYI if you’d actually heard them play you wouldn’t be asking this question.) Both their music and lyrics are saying something. A real rarity these here days don’t ya know? And it’s not all about that Pretty Girl from So-and-So either (though there’s plenty of those and I expect the next one to be ‘Pretty Girl from State College’….) there’s a lot of lyrical truth and they make you chew on what they have to say if you actually listen to the words. Example:
There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light. In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right. And it comes in black and it comes in white. And I’m frightnened by those that don’t see it…
I don’t know exactly what the Avett’s were trying to say or what they meant in writing these lyrics, and what the meant may be way different than what each person hears. Actually I think it’s probably different in everyone’s ears to a degree. Everyone is free to interpret song lyrics as they wish, so my 2 cents is simply what I hear when I listen to this song. If you don’t care to know feel free to skip and go listen to some Avett’s yourself 🙂 What do you hear?
The “darkness upon me” as in:
The manifestations of the Fall in humanity today, a fall away from light. Most commonly seen by our struggle to prove/find worth, meaning, and value for our existence. Then all too often using cheap short-lived substitutes for answers. Feeding constant dissatisfaction and frustration with our situations.
All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger. (Ecclesiastes 5:17)
“and I’m frightened by those who don’t see it” as in:
Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains…(Psalm 107:10)
It is hard to see these manifestations both in yourself and those around you, as you realize everyone is Ill With Want (to borrow another song title) for something not completely satisfied in this world but still acutely feels the desire for something more. Like ‘we’re almost there but not quite at the same time’ sort of feeling you know? To borrow from Mr. C.S. Lewis: “If I find in myself a desire which no expereince in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” We were made for light but have pulled darkness over ourselves in effort to recover something we know was lost. *This is just my opinion, but frankly I don’t believe humans are inherently “good”. We are quite wicked no matter who we are deep in our motives more often than not. Maybe not the “wicked” you think of, as in outwardly ill-wishing on others but wicked as in manipulating our lives to prove to ourselves we are powerful and on the same level as God. To become somewhat possessed with our own promotion (same deal we talked about before, the Pride thing.) The sad thing is, we are often the ones who “don’t see it”. We don’t see our own stumbling blocks or recognize our darkness as darkness at all in a society that claims nothing as absolute.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)
BUT “there’s a darkness around me that’s flooded with light”
You want to know something interesting? Yeah you do! People like the idea of the loving good teacher Jesus, but then aren’t so keen to recognize a distinct darkness around him. It’s our darkness that he took on in order to flood us with light.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne…His lightening lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. (Psalm 97:2-4)
Many biblical descriptions of God’s encounters with mankind include God being shrouded in darkness, but then at the same time he is the ultimate Light.
The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:21)
In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. (Matthew 27:44-45).
However when our darkness is flooded in light we are exposed and aware of it, but also very aware of the fact that there is light given to us. We don’t even know we’re covered in such a thing as darkness if we didn’t have light to compare it too. Light exposes us but shows us that our instincts aren’t crazy, we crave what cannot be fully attained in this life because we are indeed covered in a darkness meant to be flooded in light, children of the Light. (or to borrow from my favorite Mumford & Son’s song…. a Lover of the Light!!!)
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:11-12)
There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it. And there was a kid with a head full of doubt.
We’re that bird in our cage! Demanding that someone free us, take a wild guess who that is….yep. But even though we’ve been freed we’ll still have darkness upon us in this life and our heads will still be full of doubt more times than we care to admit.
Decide what to be and go be it.
So that’s what we have to face. In the midst of our doubt and being that bird in the dark cage, when we see that we’re flooded with light we just decide what to be and go be it regardless of how ‘divinely inspired’ or ‘called’ we feel that day. True character bleeds through when you just arent’ feelin’ it sometimes but decide to keep going anyway.