I would like to write something about being joyful or having fun or being filled with a sense of excitement but that isn’t where I find myself today.  I am tired. I know I am not alone in this.  The days are adding up, and we are settling into a routine that feels, at times, dull and at other times, discouraging.  We are walking a path that we haven’t walked before, but it is not a grand adventure, it is the opposite. And yet, we do not walk alone.  We share this experience with everyone we know.  It is in this fact that comfort can be found.  So we walk. And as we do, we look for good. We look for wisdom.  We look for beauty. Always.


Way back in 2014 I spent a year with hymns.  Challenging myself to think about and arrange a different hymn each week and then, despite my own insecurities, share these thoughts with others.  It was an extremely revelatory experience.  I learned a great deal and was quite moved by the many responses I received.  I admit that by the end of the hymn project, I was a bit weary of the process and the self-imposed pressure to meet a deadline, so I mostly let this activity of hymn exploration go by the wayside.

But life has a funny way of asking us to do things for reasons we didn’t originally intend. When I started out I was simply looking for a project.  A way to understand and explore where I came from musically and spiritually, and a means of forcing myself to be creative.  Today I think there is value in embarking on another year-long challenge. It has been floating through my mind for months that I wish there was something I could do to counter the incredibly negative energy that has blanketed our lives in the past couple of years.  I am often overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of disturbing news, behaviour and events that I read about each day.  I am baffled by our desire to take in these things; to share them, to discuss them, to allow them to dominate our lives.  I wonder where the line is – when is it obsession and preoccupation with the information; when is it rising against injustice and being aware.  It seems we’ve lost something in our ability to work for good, rather than just be outraged and paralysed by the bad.

Now, hymns are not the answer.  Obviously. I don’t have any idea what the answers are, but what I do know, is that finding solutions comes far more easily from a place of shared strength and support than when we are helplessly flapping in the wind.  I haven’t much to offer, but I can do this.  I can look for words of wisdom in these age old texts.  I can attempt to soothe by providing sounds that try to fill our spaces with beauty.

So we begin another year of song.  These songs represent my heritage, my experience and my childhood.  These kinds of words and music have been a constant in my life and have become a part of me.  They are a starting point for me and do not necessarily represent all I am, or all I believe.  But, they have stood the test of time and I hope to find ways to understand them in a broader context – meaningful to many, despite our different experiences, circumstances and beliefs.

I want Jesus to walk with me;
I want Jesus to walk with me;
all along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

In my trials, Lord, walk with me;
in my trials, Lord, walk with me;
when my heart is almost breaking,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when my head is bowed in sorrow,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

I have always liked the idea that Jesus should be viewed as an example of the power of kindness. An example of how we should treat people.  Perhaps you have another figure that provides that example – be it religious or otherwise. Find that example.  We need these examples.  I read these words and think we are in trouble and we all need someone to walk with us.  We are in trouble and we all need to walk with someone else.  Wherever we find ourselves, we are on one or the other side of this equation – sometimes both.  So my desire for this second year of song is to walk with you all. Whether heart breaking or head bowed in sorrow, we walk together.  We walk in kindness.  We walk for good.