Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Much Afraid

It has been 17 years since the band "Jars of Clay" released their Much Afraid collection of songs. The album was influenced by the fact that band members had read Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The following quote introduces the concept that Love and Pain go together.
'She bent forward to look, then gave a startled little cry and drew back. There was indeed a seed lying in the palm of his hand, but it was shaped exactly like a long, sharply-pointed thorn… ‘The seed looks very sharp,’ she said shrinkingly. ’Won’t it hurt if you put it into my heart?
He answered gently, ‘It is so sharp that it slips in very quickly. But, Much-Afraid, I have already warned you that Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.’ 
Much-Afraid looked at the thorn and shrank from it. Then she looked at the Shepherd’s face and repeated his words to herself. ’When the seed of Love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return,’ and a strange new courage entered her. She suddenly stepped forward, bared her heart, and said, ‘Please plant the seed here in my heart.’ 
His face lit up with a glad smile and he said with a note of joy in his voice, ‘Now you will be able to go with me to the High Places and be a citizen in the Kingdom of my Father.’ 
Then he pressed the thorn into her heart. It was true, just as he had said, it did cause a piercing pain, but it slipped in quickly and then, suddenly, a sweetness she had never felt or imagined before tingled through her. It was bittersweet, but the sweetness was the stronger. She thought of the Shepherd’s words, ‘It is so happy to love,’ and her pale, sallow cheeks suddenly glowed pink and her eyes shone. For a moment Much-Afraid did not look afraid at all.'
The Much Afraid album contains many creative songs including "Crazy Times", "Overjoyed," "Fade to Grey," "Tea and Sympathy," "Frail," "Five Candles (You Were There)," and the title track.2
"Much Afraid" 
Empty again
Sunken down so far
So scared to fall
I might not get up again 
So I lay at your feet
All my brokenness
I carry all of my burdens to you 
All of these things
I've held up in vain
No reason nor rhyme
Just the scars that remain
Of all of these things
I'm so much afraid
Scared out of my mind
By the demons I've made
Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go
Oh, sweet Jesus, never ever let me go 
So happy to love
Yet so far to go
You lead me on to where I've never been before 
All of these things
I've held up in vain
No reason nor rhyme
Just the scars that remain
Of all of these things
I'm so much afraid
Scared out of my mind
By the demons I've made
Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go
Oh, sweet Jesus, never ever let me go 3
#jarsofclay #muchafraid


1 Hannah Hurnard, Hinds' Feet on High Places, www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/13288.Hannah_Hurnard
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Much_Afraid
3 Words and music by Dan Haseltine, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark, and Charlie Lowell, copyright Essential Records, 1997.

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