I’ve been listening to this song lately and there are a few lines that have been resonating with me concerning the loss I have experienced. This is not something I like to transparently talk about, because if I did it’s hard for me to stop crying.
If you do not know yet, I lost my brother, Javier Jaguar Gutierrez. He died in Afghanistan on February 8, 2020 and it’s been a harrowing experience ever since. There is nothing quite as challenging to one’s faith than when someone close to you passes away before their time.
Though I could write a book about him (and perhaps one day I will), this post will talk about a few simple lines from a song I tend to cling on to, when I can’t escape certain thoughts.
The song is called, “Christ is Mine Forevermore” by CityALight. The words I focus on are these:
“Mine are tears in times of sorrow
Darkness not yet understood
Through the valley I must travel
where I see no earthly good.”
Following my brother’s passing, it was almost impossible to see that anything was good. I knew there was good things, but how could there be? And Why would there be when something so tragic has happened? In other words I thought, “What’s the point?”
However, these lyrics resonate with me. I will explain:
First line: This helps me to take ownership of this sorrow I have. I will not be in denial of it. I am suppose to be sad, because this is not a happy thing, and I will not ignore my heartache. It is only then when God can “heal the broken-hearted.” (Psalm 147:3)
Second line: Darkness, loss, suffering and evil is present in this world and I don’t know why it exists. Century-old arguments attempt to explain them, but it still can’t be understood when you are in direct contact with it. But I do recognize that one day everything will make sense.
Third & Fourth line: Valley’s are inevitable in every person’s life. I just thought I’d never be in one so dark and desolate. It’s a place of utter despair, and there seems to be no hope anywhere. There is no strand of good in sight…Still, I must walk through it.
I have found some small sense of comfort in these words. It helps me realize I am not the only one going through such dark times, and organize chaotic thoughts.
The song then flows into one of its choruses with the following words:
“But mine is peace that flows from heaven
and the strength in times of need
I know my pain will not be wasted
Christ completes his work in me.”
This chorus immediately brings hope to the burdened pilgrim. Peace and strength are available to us, and it is not of this world. This does not mean we forget, deny or diminish what has happened. It just means we can have miraculous help to keep going.
The last lines remind me that this suffering does not happen “just because.” There is work that began in all of us when we gave our lives to God, and when we place our trust in him over what we see, we can be further transformed and have hope once again.
“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,…” Romans 5:3-4