Monday, May 01, 2006

Beautiful Letdown

I mention "writing" in the title of this blog. I have an interest in writing and have been working on improving my skill in that craft. I was thinking about how hard it can be to get the message you want across in an artful, meaningful way that doesn't come across as hitting people over the head with it.

I think songwriting may be one of the hardest things to write well, because you have to combine the lyrics with good music and get your heart poured into about 3 1/2 minutes of song. I want to look a little bit at the lyrics of Switchfoot, since I was recently at their concert (see below). These guys are amazing in what they pack into their songs.

We are a beautiful letdown
Painfully uncool
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures, and the fools
What a beautiful letdown
Are we salt in the wound
Hey, let us sing one true tune

This is a stanza from The Beautiful Letdown. This speaks so much in such few words. (Of course, we're looking out of them out of complete context, which is always important.) As the kingdom of God, we have a dual nature of being redeemed creatures that are beautiful to our Creator, but we are sinners who aren't able to live up to our high calling. I often hear it said that we put the nails in the hands of Jesus each time we sin. That's hard to get across in a song, but "are we salt in the wound" just sums it up in an image we can all relate to. We've all fallen flat in our attempts to succeed, to be holy, or just to try and make it through the day without totally blowing it. It is a paradox that God sees us beautiful in all the ways we let Him down. But the wonderful thing for us is, we can still pick ourselves out of the dust and lend our voices to the "one true tune".

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jason-- I followed your comment at my place over here to yours and wouldn't you know it, you are talking about my favorite band!

    My wife and I first heard "Beautiful Letdown" about eight months before the album came out at a little hole-in-the-wall concert in Oregon. We were the oldest people there (since we're the same age as the Switchfoot guys). We also had the yougest person there as my wife was about eight months pregnant.

    It was awesome! I'm always pleased to know that my daughter heard Switchfoot live in the womb.