There are so many songs, particularly sacred ones, about the lost, the found—and, of course, the lost being found. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s clear that the musical marketplace is full-up with tunes for the doubters and devout, and the road from the former to the latter.
In shorter supply are songs for those who fall in-between: Those who got the memo, but are still deciphering it. Who followed the steps in the instruction manual but the pieces don’t quite line up. Or those who feel the presence of a higher power…and then the call drops from time to time. I suspect a lot more of us fall somewhere in the nuanced ‘in-between’ than we’d like to admit. Sometimes heading one way, other times heading the other. Maybe stuck in the middle.
At the beginning of every worship service, Dearborn First United Methodist Church Pastor David Nellist welcomes those who know all about God or the Bible, as well as those who know, well, a lot less. Reassuringly, at least to me, he welcomes those who fall somewhere in between. That speaks to me, and even inspired a song I call “In-Betweeners.” Here’s the chorus:
I know there are songs for the true believers
And others for those full of doubt
I guess I sing for the in-betweeners
The ones who are still trying to figure it out
Personally, I don’t see being in-between as a shortcoming requiring intervention: I think mystery is baked into faith. As author Jonathan Merritt wrote, “In a world that forces an answer on everything, only the mature can utter that holy phrase, ‘I don’t know.’” As for just how mature I am, well, I don’t know that, either. Still, I do proceed with caution when someone declares they know all there is to know and shuts the door to more insight.
Anyway, I don’t expect anybody to beat a path to my door to add this song to the United Methodist Hymnal, much less its slimmer, more contemporary kin, The Faith We Sing.’ Still, like the often overlooked generation (Gen X) to which I belong, I remind you that we are here. And boy, are we as committed as ever to our ambivalence!
I don’t yet have a polished studio recording of it, but you can hear its public debut at the Aug. 14 service at Dearborn First here. It starts around the 24-minute mark.
Thanks as always for checking out my music. If you like what you hear, I’m grateful for those who listen, follow and share it on/from the usual streaming services (Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora, Amazon, Google, Apple Music, etc.) And, if so moved, please add me to your playlists.