“Do you remember the valley you walked through? Heaven and earth gathered to bring you home; The mountains reached down to rivers that fed you. Both from my hand to show you are not alone.”
As humans, we often miss the forest for the trees. All the forests. All the trees. The fruit from forests of loneliness, hurt, and shame can often be neutralized by even the most virtuous trees: taking care of people, study, providing for our families by working overtime, or watching a couple of episodes of Parks & Rec. Likewise the forests of flourishing can easily be inhibited by trees of scarce thinking, lack of trust, and fear of the coming winter. Remember And Proclaim reminds us that in order to move forward we must look behind.
In the writer’s words:
“The word ‘valley’ within most Christian contexts is viewed as a negative, difficult place, and I wanted to reflect on that place before it was given this darker meaning. I envisioned the valley of Crested Butte as you drive into that lush mountain village; or Yosemite, where you are walking below majestic Half Dome and you can see the streams and rivers cutting through the mountains down to the valley. The valley we often speak of wasn’t always dry and a desert wasteland… even though loss may feel like that when you are walking alone in it. The valley can be a place of beauty and restoration, where God has met us before and where God will meet us again, with his life-giving water. And sometimes we need to stretch our memory, and ultimately our understanding of what the valley truly is, in the midst of God’s promises.’
Remember and Proclaim comes from an album about the journey in the book of Joel, a journey that speaks of loss and lament but, also, the importance of community and remembering God’s promises in the midst of it all.