Song of the Month: “Shoulders”

Song of the month header 1

In mid 2013, after years of not writing much of anything, I started to feel the urge to write for publication again. About this time, the religion section of my local newspaper was calling for a new batch of reader columnists, so I decided to apply.

I found a few things I had written earlier, added a short bio and emailed it all to the editor. After several weeks, I hadn’t heard anything, so I assumed that door was closed. I was OK with that; it’s taken me a long time, but I’ve learned to hold such opportunities loosely and trust that God will give me what I need when it comes to writing assignments.

Fortunately, the waiting didn’t quell my creative juices. One day, I sat down and wrote this little piece about Psalm 121—something I’d wanted to do for a long time but never had the courage. The rough draft was a little different than what you see here, but the gist of it—the story that exposed my heart like never before—was all there.

I finished up the story one Thursday morning before heading out to the grocery store. As I gathered my purse and shopping list, I knew in my heart that, if I was selected to be a reader columnist for the newspaper, this would be the first piece I would submit.

I just knew.

And can you guess what was playing on the minivan stereo a moment later when I started the engine? The song “Always,” by Kristian Stanfill—at the exact spot, about halfway through, where he starts singing directly from Psalm 121.

“I lift my eyes up … my help comes from the Lord.”

I sat there and cried.

The editor wrote back eventually. While my original submissions showed my journalistic skills, he wasn’t quite sure I had the “depth of thinking” he was looking for.

“So what do you want to do?” he asked. “Shoot me something else or call it a day?”

I sent him my Psalm 121 story, and, well, here we are.

I say all that to say this: I absolutely love songs that draw directly from my favorite psalm. I usually try to choose tunes for Song of the Month that are at least somewhat new or unfamiliar, but when I heard this song on the radio several weeks ago, I knew I would have to make an exception.

Whether you’ve heard it a dozen times or not at all, I hope the message of For King & Country’s “Shoulders” refreshes your soul as much as it does mine.

Lois Flowers

5 Responses to Song of the Month: “Shoulders”

  1. Mary McCully says:

    Answering on my phone…sorry for Psalm being misspelled! Bill flying to northeast as I type. I prayed this for him this AM.

    Keep on pursuing your love with Love.

  2. Mary McCully says:

    Oh, Lois, I was studying Psalm 121 this early AM! How special that God has prepared for us a Zosalm that we can use as a prayer! A prayer for protection, how magnificent is our God, our Great Jehovsh Rapha!

  3. I wasn’t familiar with this song (or the artists), so thank you for featuring it. It’s a keeper!

    I can’t imagine anyone telling you that you lack “depth of thinking.” Just shows he didn’t know you.

    I am so blessed to be reading your words again, this time not as your editor but as your friend. Your writing has always been beautiful and insightful to me.

    Now, to read Psalm 121 as I get ready for church …

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