Have you ever stumbled upon an artist that used his/her creativity to paint exactly how you feel about the world? Well, that is Sleeping at Last for me. I stumbled upon their music two years ago and can’t thank Ryan enough for being vulnerable enough to share his heart through each lyric, intertwined by strings and ivories. Each song paints a picture of how I feel about life and the human existence, something that is oftentimes difficult to put into words.
While I’ve been listening to Atlas:Year Two as each song comes out, it wasn’t until this week that I began to read how each song was made. Read more here.
Sight, in particular, caught my eye. No pun intended.
Ryan O’Neal, singer-songwriter, producer and composer of Sleeping at Last, begins the song with “i see God in symmetry” which as he explains:
“it means that I recognize God in all beauty. Whether it’s symmetrical facial features, architecture, composition, or the petals on a flower, we are deeply drawn to symmetry in all areas of life. It’s hardwired into us. I believe symmetry and beauty point to something incredible, and bigger than ourselves.”
When I was in Peru this summer trekking along the Inca Trail, the symmetrical shadows of the Andes Mountains pointed to something so larger than myself. There was beauty in the Inca ruins, there was beauty along the riverbed, and there was beauty found in each step that I took during that four day journey. I realized how small I was in a world and universe that was significantly greater. And, despite how insignificant I felt, God reminded me that though I am surrounded by insurmountable beauty, He looks upon me and sees that it is good, that we, as human beings, are His most prized creation. Wow.
However, sometimes we can forget how significant we truly are to our Creator. In the song, Ryan speaks to the fact that many of us can become blind, not physically, but spiritually. Our faith then becomes asymmetrical as life’s experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, blind us to that which we used to believe in, to the prayers and promises that we once thought were true, and to the belief that all will be made new.
As we grow older, our eyes have seen more and more of the reality that exists in our world, and with such, we can easily become jaded and we may become hopeless as that which was created to be beautiful is destroyed by the seeds of evil that are found in the dust of this earth.
However, child of God, there is hope. There is beauty.
Without instruction, without obstruction you believe
Without container or dualistic framework
You see the Holy Ghost in broad daylight
And I see the reflection in your eyes
The above lyrics were birthed from a place within Ryan’s heart when he gazes into his daughter’s eyes. She reminds him of our origin, of our existence, of the childlike faith that Jesus asks of us.
We can become discouraged as we look through the lenses of our lives as we see the financial misfortune, the brokenness within families, the injustices within our cities, and the diseases, both physical and mental, that bring about destruction.
I have had those moments, just like Ryan, where I’ve been reminded of the One whom created you and I. My flesh and spirit stop fighting with one another and I then suddenly, I begin to see “the Holy Ghost in broad daylight.”
As humans, especially as adults, we face a duality in our spirits, a duality between faith and flesh, between doubt and trust, between imagination and reality. However, God beckons us to see through His eyes.
For even though there is the reality that there is much pain and sorrow in this land, in our temporary home that we are just passing through, there is a greater beauty and hope that is found in the Maker’s hands. As the reflection of our childlike faith resurfaces, we will see God in things and in ways that we had never seen Him before.