A Lesson in Love – a Closer Look at Songwriting

It wasn’t until after I had practiced this particular song over and over in order to share it with my church family, that I began to discover new layers of meaning in every line.

Just like the story or setting can help us understand text in scripture more clearly, the story behind a song can reveal hidden truths as well.  Several blogs back I revealed part of the story behind “Lesson in Love”, but today I’d like to invite you to take an even closer look at a unique song (verse one) and the deeper lessons found therein.

A Lesson in Love – verse one

I gotta lesson in love today, I didn’t bargain for  (I struggled with the word “bargain” and then realized that it’s perfect for revealing our flawed human nature, meaning we expect things to be easy, always looking for a deal that will benefit us in some way.  A closer look reminded me of the price our Lord and Savior paid for our salvation.  Dictionary.com tells us that a bargain is “an advantageous purchase, especially one acquired at less than the usual cost.”  Our souls weren’t worth a penny and yet our Lord paid the highest price – his life.  A temporary bargain was not in his sights, but love and eternity was.  And yet when he has something to teach us (lesson), again the word bargain becomes a choice word to depict how our sinful nature squirms at the thought of anything that might require work.)

Wearing the stain of someone’s mistake (at first I thought of “wearing the pain” for this line but almost shuddered at the thought, because that’s another human flaw, our propensity to live by feelings alone rather than by faith.  I chose “wearing the stain” instead and immediately saw a picture of Christ on the cross covered in our refuse.  A story I was weaving about something that had happened in my life, was becoming his story with vivid imagery of his sacrifice.)

Taking the blame that’s not mine to take (I kept thinking of all the times I was rejected because of my associations with a family member that had hurt so many but again my heart couldn’t stay wallowing in self-pity.  Was not my Jesus “despised and rejected of mankind…”? (Isaiah 53:3 b NIV))

Bowing my head when I’d rather scream (James 1:19 tells us to be “quick to listen and slow to speak”, a revelation that will take us a lifetime to embrace.  If there was a time in history for something to be said or shouted, it should have been on that hill where my Jesus hung.  We know he was in the beginning with God, we know he created the world and yet he allowed the world to crucify him.  Rather than choose power and majesty, and miraculously free himself from the nails and thorns, he bowed his head in humble silence and chose death.  Initially, when I penned this line I had been picturing myself trying to restrain my tongue, but instead I saw my Lord, nailed to a cross, with his head hanging low.)

I’m beginning to see (the last line of a verse should set up what you are going to say in the chorus.  In this case I became aware that God was leading me.  I was beginning to see the truth clearer with every line.  Not only did I know that a chorus in a song needs to reveal an answer, I knew God was going to reveal it to me, and he did!

Join us for a closer look at the “Chorus” tomorrow.



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