Monday, July 30, 2007

Joy of man's desiring

When I give my testimony about coming to faith, I talk about how I used to seek joy through music.

Actually, it was more than that; I sought joy in songs about seeking joy. And like C.S. Lewis's capital-J "Joy," it was always tantalizing just out of reach. Songs like Bill Lloyd's "Nothing Comes Close":

Lyrics from Lloyd's Web site:

I’ve got a rage for this machine
that’s keeping me out of heaven
But that’s the way that it goes..when
Nothing Comes Close

I’ve gotta’ face this sight unseen
that’s keeping me out of trouble
Just when I wanted it most.. then
Nothing Comes Close

All the clues point back to back
we break each code at random
Like mirrors we can stand them end to end
Let it go again

I’ve gotta’ track this circle back
around to where it started
Love in one lethal dose.. but
Nothing Comes Close

The artist and songwriter also talks on his Web site about his inspiration for the song: "I knew more about what this song was about after playing it live for a few years than I ever did when I wrote it. Usually that's not a good sign, but sometimes the subconscious lyric tells more about you than you ever thought it could. So in that spirit, that's all I should say."

I believe, as Lewis believed of the seemingly superficial worldly things that gave him his first taste of Joy, that the experience of joyful longing I received through songs like Lloyd's made my heart more fertile for the real thing.