I was driving home from a kitchen tools gig this evening and happened to have Dave Matthews on the cd player when it occured to me to wonder why I love his music so much. What is it about him? And the thing that occured to me as I listened was that he has this incredible sense of longing in his music. His voice is plaintive... his lyrics are all about yearning and desire. And although he is usually writing about love affairs or sex, there is something deeper and more universal in his songs.
When I first fell in love with God, I realized that for me, all love songs will forever more be about God.
For some reason, Dave, more than most musicians, seems to be religious. I bought 'Busted Stuff' about 2 years ago, fairly soon after my conversion, and sat in my car in the rain in a parking lot near the ocean and listened to the whole thing, crying for joy. It isn't that great an album. In fact, it was going to be relegated to the cutting room floor except that a bunch of kids started selling pirated versions of it. So the band released it and I got a copy and heard stories about God in it.
Dave Matthews sings about longing.
And one of the truths I have discovered on my walk with God is that the closer you get to him, the more painfully aware you are of the gulf. And as long as we are flesh and blood, we are destined to be in a state of perpetual longing for the deep, true, connection that maybe will only come when we die. Longing is so much a part of being a Christian, for me, that when I hear of longing in others, I resonate with it deeply.