Posts Tagged 'sorrow'


Sometimes a song just comes.
So often, at the most unexpected of times.
Yesterday, I found myself down the road at the local coffee shop. ¬†You’d think I have shares in the place. No, just lots of used-loyalty cards ūüôā I guess I was just browsing the paper. ¬†Bushfires have exacted a terrible toll on property and people this past week in SE Qld, northern NSW and elsewhere.

I was suddenly impacted by these.  How would I allow my congregation to pray and reflect this coming Sunday.  Some of our folk have begun exploring practical ways of assisting those affected.

Within minutes, I had written a soft, seemingly-stark song of lament called¬†Embers. ¬†Lots of long ‘spaces’ between notes. ¬†That effect worked.

I headed home, fine-tuned the instrumental piece … that’s what it is … recorded a simple mp3 track along with a basic piano score. I deliberately didn’t strive for recording perfection, every quarter-note or semibreve spot on for time. ¬† That would be such a disservice for so many whose lives right now have fallen so imperfectly and fallibly apart.

So … I offer it to you. ¬†Yes, we’ll use it in worship in Sunday. ¬†Use it whenever, however.


score mp3


“Flow” – vocal recording

Hi. Dale’s added a lovely vocal to my recent song, “Flow” – my reflection on much for me arising out of the recent tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand. ¬†As I mostly likely will next Sunday, you may wish to use it as a reflective piece in worship, or in the silence or confusion of your own hearts.


leadsheet    lyrics   mp3 vocal    mp3 backing

“Flow” … a song from these times

We’ve all been some combination of troubled, perplexed, heartbroken, angry, confused, sorrowful and more these past days, in the aftermath of the Christchurch tragedy. ¬†Like perhaps all of us, I’ve struggled to make sense of such evil and such loss. ¬†I also hold in my heart two longtime friends who are now, in their broken relationship, at a point of great loss.

With these things and probably more in mind, I’ve written this song called¬†Flow. ¬†To be frank, I’m not sure when, where, how or by whom it will be shared. ¬†Maybe this is as far as it goes. ¬†I needed to put some words together for my own dealing with it all. ¬†So I share it with you. ¬†The “come flow …” refrain is one example for me of a refrain being gentler and more laidback than the verses. ¬†See what you think. ¬†Being a long song, verse 3 (a paraphrase of four of Jesus’ Beatitudes) is optional.

If it’s in any way helpful to you and those whom you love and do life, by all means use it.
Blessings, David


leadsheet  lyrics mp3 backing (w. melody)

My heart is strained with sadness
There’s sorrow beyond words
I’m such a loss to make real sense
of all I’ve seen and heard
Why are we so divided?
Why can’t we be as one?
O, why O God?
O, why so God?
Yes, what have we become?

Come flow … compassion
Come flow … your peace
Come flow … deep understanding
Come flow …
Come flow … your love

When innocents meet violence
While practising their faith
While lives are torn asunder
By evil’s human face
May we find in each other
You and your love for all
Each beautiful, made in your love
Flow Spirit. Change us all
Come flow …

(optional 3rdverse)

So blessings be to you who mourn
for comfort will be yours
And blessings – all who work for peace
for such a holy cause
And blessings to the kind ones
God’s mercy come your way
And blessings to the pure in heart
Flow in us, God, this dayCome flow …

David MacGregor
© 2019 Willow Publishing



As I’ve just blogged, there’s another song … which perhaps cheekily I’m putting out there. Along with others, I’ve been invited to write a song for a special gathering of Christians here in Australia later this year. ¬†I won’t say any more about this right now.

There’s something about¬†the imagery and meaning of Christian baptism; the reality that in this sacrament, we die to Christ, before rising (literally/spiritually) with Christ through the waters of baptism … renewed in God through Jesus Christ; gifted and empowered by the Spirit.

For me, through our continual engagement, in baptism, with Christ’s dying and rising that we journey deeper into the life of Christ; into God’s story. ¬†As we do, we find our story … individually¬†and¬†as commissioned, gifted community in Christ. In our baptism, we are thus called and commissioned as disciples of Christ – to celebrate, sorrow, rejoice, serve, learn, seek justice and build community. ¬†And that’s just a start. ¬†Here’s the song. ¬†Dale and I have put together a vocal demo … admittedly a bit dodgy here and there. ¬†I hope you’ll look beyond (dare I say, deeper than) that.

There’s potential for a bit of an echo thing happening through all but the last line of the refrain. ¬†That could work well … male/female,, alternating halves of congregation. song leader/congregation.

Grace and peace,

music score
mp3 vocal[G]

journey deeper

  1. In the seeking is the finding
    In the learning we all gain
    In the living is the growing
    by your grace like morning rain
    In our gathering is Spirit
    In our sorrow we all pain
    In our worship we will hear your voice
    the call to life again
    So we journey
    Journey deeper
    Join your story
    Find your life
    God of loving
    God of promise
    We find our story
    Shine your light
  2. Working arm-in-arm for justice
    Finding Christ there in the least
    There with God’s refreshing Spirit
    sharing faith and life and peace..

As community in Jesus
may we  journey as God calls
Through the wellspring of your mercy deep
We’ll rise as first we fall

So we journey …

David MacGregor
© 2014 Willow Publishing
* alternative: ‚ÄúWe find our stories‚ÄĚ

sad, surreal and thankful

Right now I’m numbed.

Lynn, one of our dearest of friends passed away late this morning after a long battle with cancer. Dale and I visited her (and Gary)  just this last Wednesday.  Dale of course flew to the States two days later to be with her Dad and other family members; she lost her Mom in April last year.

I’ve known Lynn all my life – same age, same church, same primary school, same love for music. I could say much. I’ve known Gary for about 40 years.

Spent time with Lynn and Gary last night. Important time, but so hard. I was told then it would be a matter of days. Wasn’t even that; she died 11.20 this morning. ¬† I’m thankful that I was able to take Lynn’s hand softly and thank God for such a beautiful, giving person who shone life, love and God in so, so many ways. ¬†She has been such a special friend, as has Gary and their family.

Two things made it a challenge today:

  • It’s tough with Dale o/s at present … this is time she has so, so been looking forward to, with a road trip with her Dad, sister Diana and brother-in-law Tom coming up in a day or so … half-way across the country where they are meeting up with other family members at Branson, Missouri. (?). ¬†Tough without Dale’s support and love at a time like this. ¬†I know Dale feels likewise. ¬†She’s not back until 13 July.
  • I received the sms from Gary as I rolled up just after midday for the final session of Day 3 of our big DayCamp holiday program.¬†(having been back at home doing worship prep) I was needed – legit reasons – for the final time of singing. Within a few minutes of arriving, Gary texts me and no doubt many others with the news. ¬†The numbing and the tears started. ¬†Tried contacting Dale – had to leave message. ¬†Let our lads know. ¬†Absolutely no reflection on the songleader (she’s a great person) but you can imagine how much I felt like being around 120 kids belting out¬†Pharaoh, Pharaoh.

I just wanted to find the nearest rabbit burrow and hide. I so didn’t want to be there. The numbing increases; too numb to shed much in the way of tears, though knowing me (more “feely” than people realize), they’re bound to come.

Joel, Jeremy and Nathan have been great during the initial aftermath. ¬†Nathan texts me and asks, “Are you OK?”. Jeremy implores me to “Stay strong, stay safe” (even though I feel broken-down right now and perhaps need to be for a while). ¬†Joel offers to help. ¬† They ask what I’d like for dinner- I request a light salad. ¬†Heaviness of food wouldn’t go well with heaviness of heart right now.

So, along with so many others, I find myself in this strange ‘space’ right now.

It’s a bleak time, yet not so bleak that while I can’t easily dismiss the questions like God, why has this happened to someone (and someone’s) so full of life and still so young,¬†no way will it stop me from thanking God for the gift Lynn was to Dale’s and my life … and to so, so many others … and continues to be.

Yes, this time is sad, surreal and thankful all in one. Totally out of context, I find myself musing over the final words of what has long been my favourite movie:¬†Sophie’s Choice.¬†It ends with the lead male character’s voiceover of an Emily Dickinson poem:

Ample make this bed.
 Make this bed with awe;
 In it wait till judgment break
 Excellent and fair.

 Be its mattress straight,
 Be its pillow round;
 Let no sunrise' yellow noise
 Interrupt this ground.

There’s more to it than this, but the final words of the movie are these:

When I could finally see again, I saw the first rays of daylight 
reflected in the murky river. 
This was not judgment day. Only morning. 
Morning: excellent and fair.

Our dear friend and loved one is at peace. Amid our wrenching loss and numbing sorrow and sadness, my Christian faith wants to affirm that life continues for Lynn, in God’s fulness, beauty and richness: morning: excellent and fair.


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