As I was praying through music, singing and playing the song, “O God, You Search Me” as an offering to you, I began to tear. That’s when I knew your holy spirit was upon me. The tears were triggered by this line: You are with me beyond my understanding. Because how true this is to me! Among so much that I don’t understand, I often wonder why you chose to give me the gift of music, and to give it to me in such a tragic way. I almost abandoned music all together because it was a painful reminder of the past, but through your son Jesus Christ, also my father and teacher through you, the music I’d acquired is not in fact from the tragedy, it is from on high. My initial passion may have been ignited from a corrupted source, but that is not the source of my passion. The source is you. This knowledge – revealed to me only in the depths of prayer – sanctified that pain I once associated with my passion in music, and transformed it into service, an offering to the people and to the one who gave it to me – you, God, my true father. That pain transformed into joy, into a form of prayer to express my deepest self. The world may see me as a mediocre musician, and indeed I am, but I do not, nonetheless, take my gift for granted. Despite how the world may see me, I will relentlessly commit to music. I will do what I can with it for using it to serve gives me some of my greatest joys; using it is to follow your command to share the gifts you’ve given us. Indeed, I felt the holy spirit today, through whom I heard you say: An offering in and of music with the sincerest intentions and purest heart can have more power to uplift than a well-rehearsed song sung by a well-renowned singer. I know you were talking to me for often times, I fear sharing music with the knowledge that I am not the greatest. But as you’ve helped me come to realize, you do not call the qualified do you? You qualify the called, which has helped alleviate my fears and explains all the blessings I’ve come to know in my career as a musician. Despite my limited education in music, basing so much of it by ear and intuition, and the fact that I began learning quite late in life, you’ve given me more opportunities to live this passion than I could’ve ever imagined! People have requested my music, have given it praise, have lifted it on high, have expressed how inspired they felt by it…they should be praising you for I am but a broken instrument of your perfectness! Nothing comes from me but you! These are all beyond my understanding Lord, and yet, it is only visible proof that your power really is made perfect in imperfection. For this, my music will always be to serve you, to point to you, and to serve others. I shall continue learning all I can to give only my best. For this, I shall write music from my heart – wherein you dwell – for the rest of my days, even if my ears shall be the only ones to listen in this world; for I know you listen in praise to your lowly servant’s sincere attempt in creating harmonious sounds of and for the heavens, the earth, an echo of her deepest soul to you. Yours be all the glory Father, Amen!
Lyrics to O God You Search Me (based on Psalm 139):
O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.
You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
And with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.
Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
You have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future, too.
Although your Spirit is upon me,
Still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.
For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.
Song written by Bernadette Farrell