Clouds and Sunbeams

Worship slides seem to attract background pictures of clouds, sunsets, rain, and nature.  It seems these images lead God’s people into worship.  But sometimes they seem so otherworldly!  So warm and fuzzy!

Sometime I want to shake it up and sing “Amazing Grace” to a background of a slave ship with its cargo shackeled to the dark and putrid galley.  That is the slavery sin the author received grace to atone.  That is how lost he was, how lost I am.  My sin receives the same grace.  Do I know it’s amazing?

What about “It is Well with My Soul” with a background of sinking ship and children being lost in the ocean.  That is the author’s experience.  His children–all of them–lost in the ocean.  His wife attempted to throw herself in the sea when she realized they all, every single one of her 4 daughters, died.  She waited days for her husband in England to come and comfort her.  He wrote the lines as he passed the place where they drowned.  “It is Well with My Soul” takes on some bite it doesn’t have when I gaze at a sunset while I sing.  Is it well with my soul?  Do I know God like that?

I need to worship to lift my gaze to the Lord.  I just wonder if lifting my eyes doesn’t really mean looking at white clouds and sunsets but at where God’s grace and sovereignty intersect with my messy life.

What pictures would you put in the background of your favorite lyrics?  Why?

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