This song is not a battle cry. It’s not a call for a return to greatness.
It’s a confession and a promise. A declaration of faith and a whisper against the dark, the kind you repeat to yourself in the grip of fear. You think you are silent, yet you hear the quaver in a voice that belongs to you.
There was a time when my boldness was more parts bravery than bravado. In the days of my youth before time and trial led down paths best undisturbed, I had a faith fresh as a new snowfall. The Spirit whispered through the words inked in red, calling to mercy and a call. I was soon taught that the time of illumination was passed, that the reins of spiritual truth were held by earthy men in nice suits and a higher call than the laity.
Yet even through the shouts and hallelujahs and skillful oratory, a voice still whispered; faith and works should align. The smokescreen teaching of leadership wasn’t Shekinah glory, but the display of power over docile sheep. When a sheep was found to possess the beginnings of questioning, they were quickly dispatched and removed from the flock.
This isn’t poetic license. I’ve lived through and in spite of these leaders. I think in their hearts they truly believed in their dream, but like many of us got lost along the way. The power we give them must be intoxicating beyond all desire.
I could speak names and tell the stories beyond these veiled words, but I lack either the courage or the carelessness to do so. I learned long ago the hard lessons of judgement.
We sheep who wander often seek out other herds. It is a sad tale that we tend to find the same overseers in different skins. This road can lead to cynicism and despair. Many fall along the way in denial. Sometimes it’s all too much and their path takes them beyond the circles of this world.
I have seen these fallen. I have felt these things. I know the feeling of being storm-lashed and lost on a tangled path in the dark.
A light is shining
Beyond the wind and waves
The one who came to save
That voice still whispers and calls, not to a life of shame and willful ignorance. But to a place, a moment where grace and mercy wash over us, a perpetual now where red words yield up deeper truths of love and forgiveness.
I still wander, and the winds still come and blow. Yet the words “I believe” become more than mantra, more than ’whistling past the graveyard,’ but the echo of truth in the eye of the storm.
This song “I Believe” is for me and my nomadic kin. It is a whispered promise in the time of wandering…
G. Vinson ©2020 George Vinson Music (ASCAP)