This Mother’s Day weekend at Willow, we dusted off the stunning Alanis Morissette song “That I Would Be Good” to give voice to the deep longing and fear that so many mothers and women feel on a daily basis. (I’d argue that most men feel this too, if we can admit it). In the cracks of this morning’s rehearsal, my mind wandered to some other Alanis songs, and I started playing that haunting piano intro to “Uninvited“. Numerous people commented how stirring that song is. One friend even mentioned afterward, “Aaron, that little melody moves me more deeply than any of the worship songs you’re playing today.” And it got me wondering…
Why was the most evocative, emotionally honest moment of the service restricted to sound check?
Why don’t more of these moments happen in our services?
Is there a place for these haunting, moody emotions in worship,
or should we just sing happy songs?
Theologically and theoretically, I believe that we HAVE to be honest about the deep ache inside every one of us, even in worship. Especially in worship! The Light only makes sense in context of the darkness. Almost all the art that moves me deeply has a little bit of melancholy…a touch of sadness…a bit of that longing for how things are supposed to be…a cry that mourns our incompleteness. But it doesn’t leave us there. It honestly and courageously wraps its arms around the dark reality, and then calls us upward toward Hope.
Great art (and great worship) is not afraid of the ugliness while unapologetically pursuing the beauty.
I believe that to my core. But I don’t know how to help this happen in a mega-church worship service. Really. No one is stopping me – I just don’t know how to do it well. Any thoughts?