One Sunday morning a man in our church told me he’d written a song. ‘Would you be willing to compose the music?’ Barry asked. And so I agreed.
Writing music is an exhausting, yet exhilarating occupation! I love the strength of the melody drawing me along and the beauty of the words touching my spirit. Wonderful!
This was the first time I’d attempted to do music notation on the computer: a huge challenge, considering my technological ignorance. I found it difficult to get those tiny notes to adhere to their correct lines and spaces on the staff! I had to enlarge the score so I could see well enough to manoeuvre the words of the song: each one had to fit exactly below its corresponding crotchet, quaver and such! Occasionally I felt the frustration rising when the notes huddled up together like balloons, with the empty lines of the staff stringing out behind them. Every day I wished I’d learnt more music theory when I was young!
It’s alright to put words and notes on the manuscript and play them when you’re alone, but it takes courage to bring them out and wave them about for others to interpret. I’ve sometimes wondered how composers approached their art. Did they get the words first, or the melody? Did they wait for inspiration, or impulsively launch out with chords or discords, hoping they’d develop into a beautiful piece of music?
A couple of my own compositions had sat under the lid of the piano stool for twenty years! I retrieved them and they joined Barry’s song. We’d begun a collection! Over a period of about three or four years, we built up a list of twelve songs for people who love to worship Jesus. Barry Tapp’s first one is called Eternity in my Heart. It’s his testimony about the way Jesus revealed himself to him and changed his life.
I believe that God loves music and he wants to share it with us. He’s developing my style, but I often slip into ignoring his suggestions! That’s the area where I’ve learnt the most. It doesn’t pay to think I can do it by myself, rushing ahead and then waiting for God to catch up with me! He gave me some of the inspiration in the night when I was thanking him for his abundant blessings. His presence was tangible, his truths a revelation to my heart.
I was thrilled when I first read the words from Matthew 11 : 28-30 in The Message Bible by Eugene H Peterson, where Jesus said:
Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Jesus spoke these words to the many weary people he met. He also said them to me! He gave me a song about it: When We Walk Together.
Barry suggested we could make a CD of our songs. I wasn’t too sure, but I spoke to my daughter about it and tentatively said, ‘I’ve always wanted to leave a legacy of my music for my family…’
‘Go for it, Mum!’ she exclaimed. She even agreed to design the cover!
We looked for musicians and singers to join us, but many were busy with other duties and couldn’t afford the time commitment for rehearsals. In the end, the faithful group that supported us comprised a drummer, three tenors, and a soprano, plus a treble and an alto for one of the songs. And I played the keyboard. Now we’ve done it!
If you’d like to buy one (or more!) of our CDs, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
They are $15 each including P&P within Australia.
We also have music books to go with the CD or separately. We’d love to hear from you.
Here are the words of the title song. I pray you will be blessed by God as you not only read, but sing them!
When We Walk Together
1. When we walk together, Lord,
I feel the measure of your pace.
I hear your footsteps near,
I sense your strength,
your guiding hand,
unwearied, constant, ready.
I enter the pattern of your way.
For you told me you would keep me close,
you’d hold me forever in your heart.
Yes, you called me with words of love:
Come to me, come to me.
I will give you rest.
2. When we walk together, Lord,
We wear the garments of delight.
We move in harmony,
the work is done,
for you provide
a rest, a recreation
for living so lightly and so free!
3. When we walk together, Lord,
I see the perfect way you love.
You take my heavy load,
give me true rest.
Teach me to be a learner,
to move to the rhythms of your grace.
© Lyn Thiele – 2014