Last week, I said that I would be sharing a song each week that helps focus us on Advent and the different Advents in our lives and in the world. How I’d like us to go about these devotionals is for us to listen to the song I present each week at least two times. Find a comfortable position, sit back, close your eyes if that helps, listen to the words of the song, and see if anything stands out to you. This is almost like doing lectio devina, but with a song instead.
The first song I’d like to share with you is called “Winter’s Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. Please listen below.
“Is love alive?” Those are the words that ring after this song is finished, not just because they’re the final words of the song, but because they’re also the most powerful. Most years, these words are what bring my mind to Advent. A time of wondering if love is alive, if hope will be fulfilled, but this year specifically, different words stuck out to me.
“This is my winter song. December never felt so wrong. ‘Cause you’re not where you belong: inside my arms.”
Normally, I hear these words as a romantic love song. A heart aching for the love that’s far away. This year, however, I heard them differently. This year we’ve all been away from loved ones more than we’d like. Many of us didn’t get to see our families for Thanksgiving and most likely won’t see them for Christmas either. December has never felt so wrong.
But even deeper than that, this song has made palpable the lament of loss felt this year by so very many people. It’s not only that they won’t get to see their loved ones this Thanksgiving or Christmas, but instead that they won’t get to see them at any future family gatherings or celebrations. Their lives have forever been changed because of the death of their spouse, or parent, or grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, child, sibling, friend, and the holidays have never felt so wrong because those loved ones aren’t where they belong: inside our arms.
Many have lost loved ones throughout 2020, more than a normal year, and thus more of us will be mixing mourning with celebration come December 25th. So, let us make it a priority to reach out to our loved ones, our families, and friends, especially those who have felt loss throughout this pandemic, and express our love for them. Share a cup of cocoa over Zoom, send an old fashioned letter, send an email, actually call them.
As we dive deeper into a dark winter, it is important to reach out and share light, to remind those that we care about that they’re still thought of, and to show them that love is still alive.