By Cameron Warne
“Fear not, for I am with thee and you are mine” – Isaiah 41:10 / 43:1
A few years ago, I produced an album called Fear Not. It was a project exploring fear in all its facets – physical, global, spiritual, personal, etc. and the title track is one of my favorite songs to sing. I have performed it in many different environments, but none were like this past Sunday when I sang it to a video camera in an empty church. The lyrics had new layers of meaning in light of the Coronavirus and I was left feeling a bit unsettled and confused.
Did you see me when I hid..?
You were brave today to walk out in your skin
Did you see me when it got carried away?
I, like many of you, have been struggling with fear this week. It's only natural with an 'invisible enemy' on the loose. When we don't know what to say or what to pray (or even what to do), Love intercedes on our behalf with wordless groans (Romans 8:26). When our hearts are searched and strip-mined and fully sapped of all strength, they are quietly and silently mended - new wineskins and patched pots that are able to hold the weight of peace. Peace is the heaviest weight of all. Peace is always fluid.
The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt wrote:
Music is my friend.
A towel to dry tears of sadness.
A source for tears of happiness.
Liberation and flight.
But also a painful thorn.
In flesh and soul.
I'm discovering new things about ‘Fear Not’. It's a song about leaning into our fear. It's a song about paradox, uncertainty and longing. It's as much about the thorns as it is about the balm. This is the cross and this is our Lenten journey.
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
(from ‘Amazing Grace’)
Listen to ‘Fear Not’: