June 30, 2012

Plant Life . . . all whimsy aside

Owl City.
I still remember the first time I ever learned about his music. My family had just arrived home from the grocery store, and my older sister, Lilly, was watching the music video for Fireflies on YouTube. Truth be told, my first impression was that it was a pretty creepy video. But I couldn't get the tune out of my head, and then I started to learn the lyrics piece by piece . . . Before I knew it, the magic of the song had not only caught my attention but fully enchanted me. Soon, I was also mesmerized by the rest of Owl City's Ocean Eyes album, then it became my favorite band, and viola! Here we are.

I used to love the music just because it was beautiful, and yes even magical. But the more I listened, the more I came to realize that there was something underneath, something essential behind every rise and fall in the music. Cave In, Tidal Wave, Meteor Shower . . . they made precious allusions to the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and I still remember falling asleep one night as I listened, and began to realize that Adam Young is a Christian.

If nothing else, Owl City's blog post with his rendition of my favorite song, In Christ Alone, made it all too clear.

When All Things Bright and Beautiful was released, I must have listened to the songs a hundred times over. My grandparents gave me the album for Christmas last year, and I kept listening, loving the music more and more, (especially Galaxies!).
    Now, here's what I'm getting at:
    The first few times I listened to Plant Life, I was left a little confused by the pictures it gave of a haunted house and death and despair. It upset me that it was the finale of the album. But these words which I was alerted to by a fellow Owl City fan and that Adam young wrote on his own blog about the song totally changed my perspective, and make Adam's Salvation clearer than ever before:

All whimsy aside [...] this song’s deepest level of symbolism parallels Jesus Christ as the only ray of hope I have in this haunted house of a world. For me, sometimes it’s easy to focus on the bloody nightmares that inevitably show themselves from time to time, but despite such dismal distractions, it’s obvious the Lord has a way of planting victorious hope all around, and sometimes such beautiful blooms of color and vibrancy crop up out of nowhere when I least expect them. At times it requires wisdom to see them, other times it’s stunningly obvious, but regardless of circumstance, these angelic reminders are tremendously potent and absolutely real. Thus I continue to keep my knees black-and-blue, constantly on the hardwood floor, wholeheartedly thanking my Savior for the tremendous grace I’ve been given, for I’m not praying to the ceiling anymore.
[...]
At the end of the day, I can only answer for myself and I’ll be the first to admit I’m nothing but a worthless sinner, day in and day out. I’m as imperfect and flawed as they come. Thus, when the sun disappears behind the clouds and life suddenly turns into a haunted house, I cling to Jesus with every fiber of my being because He is unfailing, He is absolute, He is steadfast and His grace is deeper and wider than my imagination can even fathom. In Him and Him alone is where I’ve discovered a hope more bright and beautiful than words can possibly describe.

{ read the full blog post here }

 For the record, I did start loving Plant Life before I read this --- indeed, long before --- but doesn't it just sweeten it?

I feel like I'm bragging. "See how fabulous MY favorite musical artist is?" I don't mean to make it sound that way; I just want to share my delight in having a brother in Christ who ultimately writes magic and lives to shine "brighter than a shooting star" for God's glory. It's inspiring.

"You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on the lampstand,
and it gives light to all who are in the house. 
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

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