But I'm not sure why - why those lyrics?
Maybe it's because I'm 51, heading into the next phase of life now that my youngest son is away at school. That phase, of course, is when all of your children have moved out on their own. You might not be there yet, but I am. The kids are in southern Illinois, Michigan, western Illinois and, next week, Prague.
You see, I've reached the future, and I think I'm beginning to reach for the past. Everyone says that your kids will grow faster than you can imagine, and that you need to enjoy them while they're young. But no matter who tells you what, life happens, and you get busy, and they've grown. And out on their own.
Maybe one of the things that is bothering me most is that I haven't always had the "right words to say". The words have often stayed "out of reach". Not that I wanted to be more of a friend to my kids than a father. No, a father needs to be a father first, with all of the things that implies - work hard, provide for your family, give the kids a good education, take them to church, encourage them to participate in music, drama, and the arts, love them out loud and love their mother.
I understand that there's more than one "quiet ache" - not only is there the yearning for the Divine, there's a yearning for a bit of quiet time to simply sit and reflect on what's happened and what is happening in your life, both with regard to yourself and your loved ones. That doesn't come often, and is almost certainly followed by a yearning for the way things might have been. As Elphaba (the green witch in Wicked) sings it, "Every so often we long to steal to the land of what might have been, but that doesn't soften the ache we feel when reality sets back in."
I take comfort in my faith in God. I know that whatever happens in this life, I'll be together with my loved ones in the next. And, believe me, I'm in no hurry to get there. There's so much left to do, in terms of work and living and writing and giving praise to God through music. And when I concentrate on those things, when I simply live life, the ache isn't as noticable, though it's still there.
There's no doubt I'll keep reflecting on those lyrics. They're floating around in there for some reason. And I'll love my family out loud, because that's the thing to do. And I suppose I'll have questions, and aches, until I see the face of God. As the "redeemed Deacon" says:
I learned to love the Lord and pray
Think about Him every day
Drink His word in, like a song
It's He who makes me strong