Look Through My Eyes

Phil Collins

Okay, I know it’s a cliched Disney track (Brother Bear 2003) and didn’t get the reviewers buzzing with excitement. “Allmusic described the song as a “future American Idol standard…devoid of craftsmanship”, adding it “positively radiate[s] Hollywood gloss — it’s simply indicative of pop culture’s voracious appetite for audio fast food”. Wikipedia

However, that doesn’t stop it from being a song that is meaningful to the listener. As a huge Phil Collins fan, who loves vocal harmony and a mean saxophone, it gets a thumbs up from me anyway!

“There’s a better place somewhere out there.

Ooh, just take a look through my eyes…

everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find if you look through my eyes.

So don’t run, don’t hide. It will be alright, you’ll see.

Trust me I’ll be there watching over you

Over the years I have appreciated the perspectives of friends and family who have been able to see a bigger picture. When my marriage ended I remember my brother telling me that one day I would be able to see things much more clearly; that it wouldn’t always feel like that.
But what about an even bigger picture? It led me to read again one of the Psalms which talks about God seeing our thoughts, our actions, our circumstances. Psalm 139 v 3, 11, 12

You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.

Suppose I said, “I’ll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over.” But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.

When all I want to do is run away and hide; when it feels like the present moment is just too overwhelming; when I just don’t understand what is happening…these are the times to have just a glimpse at how God views some things, because it helps to have someone around who can see the big picture; much deeper than the surface; much further than the horizon; much wider than our limited viewpoints.

Take It Easy

Eagles

Don’t know about you, but this just makes me want to grow my hair long again and get some flares. There are a few versions of the Eagles playing this song on YouTube, but I picked this one because it is a live performance and seemed to capture the spirit of the times as well as the sentiment in the song. What a contrast with Britain, as The Sex Pistols were singing Anarchy In The UK in the same year.

As usual, we can’t be too analytical about the lyrics, but the message of the chorus seems to speak to me on two levels. One is simply about relaxing, living in the moment, enjoying life while we can and taking opportunities that come along.

Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place make your stand
Take it easy

Of course this is not a comprehensive treatise on how to live a good life! But on a second level as a Christian, I find definite pointers towards the encouragement in the words of Jesus: “If you are tired, come to me and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11.28-30).

Dance The Night Away

The Mavericks

… with señoritas who can sway

I love this song because it is so cheerful – it gets your feet tapping and your body moving (or is that just me?). It’s a song I play sometimes and it works on several levels. On the surface it is just a good time dance song – although if you listen to the lyrics there is a story of a broken romance and someone who is ‘moving on’, determined to forget the previous partner and have a good time.

Then as I sing there is a layer of my own longing for love and an embrace in a dance of life. Somehow I feel it for myself, but I am also singing it on behalf of everyone else who needs that too, so you could say it’s a kind of prayer.

There’s a whole theology around the idea of dance. Some Christians are down on it as being too ‘carnal’ – but that’s exactly what it is – being physical, being in the moment, being with another person, it’s all good.

People dance when they are happy and there is a famous occasion in the Bible where people are dancing in celebration. The Israelites have been saved by a miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and now it’s time to party! Read about it here in Exodus 14:19-21. And let’s hear it for Miriam – in those patriarchal times, a woman, a prophet, a musician, singer and a leader. Go Miriam!