Aug 18 2013

“Singing Skies and Dancing Waters”

_CES0180While being driven around the North Cascades last week my traveling companion, Michael Boone, played for me some of his favorite music.  At one point he played an old John Denver song I don’t remember hearing before.  I immediately fell in love with it.  I liked the melody a lot but it was the words that really affected me.  By all appearances the song seems to be written with God in mind and how Denver at one point in his life came to experience God in singing skies and dancing waters, laughing children growing old, and in the heart and in the spirit, and in the truth when it is told.”

_CES0352In the middle of the song he seems to allude to a time when he did not feel God’s presence and how he came to sense it once again.  Here are the words: “My life became shady, and I grew afraid, and I needed to find my way home.  I just couldn’t see you, I thought that I’d lost you; I never felt so much alone.  Are you still with me?   Somehow in reason, I lost sight of seasons;  I’m growin’ out, growin’ in.  Sometimes in evenings, when daylight was needed I thought I’d never see you again.  Are you still with me?  Are you still with me?”  It is here that God answers him: “I’m with you in singing skies and dancing waters, laughing children growing old; and in the heart and in the spirit, and in the truth when it is told.”

At the end of the song Denver looks to the future and sings, “If my faith should falter and I should forsake you, and find myself turning away, will you still be there?   Will you still be there?”  Once again God answers him, “I’ll be there in singing skies and dancing waters, laughing children growing old.  And in the heart and in the spirit and in the truth when it is told.”

_CES0928I love the way the song is put together.  It is a very honest reminder that things we learn at one point in life may be forgotten and the lesson needs to be repeated.  It also seems to be an admission of the struggle that is universal in the faith journey.  We believe something now but will we believe it tomorrow?  Will we need to learn all over again, and come to accept once more, truths from the past?

Destruction Falls 526I appreciate John Denver’s reminder that among the places God can be found is in “singing skies and dancing waters.”  That has certainly been my experience.   I have felt God’s presence in the beauty of His Creation innumerable times.  There have, however, also been times in my life when God has not seemed near.  I bet that is true for you as well.  When those lonely and painful times come it is nice to be reminded that God is present in very visible and visceral ways through nature.  And if, for some reason, we worry about whether God will be there for us down the road it might not be a bad idea to pull up this song and hear God say once again, “I’ll be there in singing skies and dancing waters, laughing children growing old.  And in the heart and in the spirit and in the truth when it is told.”

Thank you, John Denver!

–Chuck

(I took all of the images above in Washington State’s North Cascades.)