In Dave Miller’s new CD, Dave Miller, explores in song how we as Christians can look at our work and turn it from labor to vocation. What got me going about these songs was the confidence of the voice when talking about Jesus the worker and the wonder , even melancholy, when it comes to what we are doing.
I begin with his #1 track: “The Walk, the Work.” It is about Jesus the worker: “Hammer, nails, tools of the trade; table, chairs are what he made. Calloused hands, up with the sun…” Lightly sung, and then the beat and tone escalate into this: “Everyday, every step, every moment, every breath, all of his dreams, all of his plans, all were in step with his father’s hands, he knew why he walked and why he worked.” Then the song moves into dedicating each day into the Father’s hands for that will “give purpose to the walk and the work.”
I put it this way: the wonder if what we are doing is good, if it is genuinely kingdom work, can be turned to confidence by living what we do in the work Jesus did before the Father.
There is a genuine melancholy about some of these contemplations; the sort of melancholy that most sense when they wonder if what they are doing is meaningful.
Dave questions a calling to music in track #7, “What Do You Want?” “Tired old chords, same same rhyme, we’ve been over this a least a thousand times, it’s my struggle way down here… But what do You want?… The simple thing is hard to do, abide in me as I abide in you, the simple simple truth.”
In #9 he asks what it is all about: “My World.” “These are the days that try a man’s soul… but what is it for?… cause my brother is empty and sister’s heart is cold, at sunset our story grows old.”
He contemplates human nature in track #8 with a memorable and memorizable line: “Me from Me.” “The other day I was thinking, I was wondering, I was pondering: What’s wrong with the man in me?” “And it suddenly came to me… what’s wrong with me is me.” “Somebody needs to pull me from the raging waters that I call me.”
The one who rescues from the ragers waters that I call me is God: Track #6: “God and the Good.” Here are some of the lyrics: “Sun wakes me up and I walk again for my God and the good of it all, I humbly come and I place my day in his hands for his good, he’s the God of it all.” “There is good in my baby’s cry, there is good in my lover’s eye; there is good in a sunset sky. And God is the good in it all. It’s good He’s the God of it all.”
But, Dave’s not simplistic; he a bit postmodern: “Two steps forward, somedays two back — for my God and any good at all.” Not always but “Someday knowing, someday seeing my God and the good in it all.”
But there’s this, from the very first track: “Everyday, every step, every moment, every breath, all of his dreams, all of his plans, all were in step with his father’s hands, he knew why he walked and why he worked.”