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Not Right Now, The Story Behind The Song

March 6, 2014

Following is the piece I wrote as an essay for the special edition of my new record, Love Will Have The Final Word, available in both the standard and special edition at http://www.jasongraymusic.com.

The suffering of others can make us talkative, loosening the tongues of even the most timid among us. We mean well, we want to help, but more often than not we end up being like Job’s comforters: doing more harm than good by offering half-baked answers, which are no comfort at all and leave the hearer feeling even more alone. When we do this we are asking the suffering person to be okay, to cheer up, and in doing so we are rejecting their pain.

The loneliness of our own suffering can make us introspective. It can lead us into the shame and regret buried deep in our hearts, warranted or not (a friend of mine who had a miscarriage told me that all she wanted to say over and over again was, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” though she had done nothing for which she needed to apologize). In this we see how pain has the power to unearth our deepest wounds, driving them to the surface where perhaps God can begin to heal them.

Several years ago, I experienced one of the most healing moments of my life. It happened in the back lounge of a tour bus. I had just poured out my broken heart to my friend, Andy Gullahorn, when I recognized in the silence that fell between us that I was bracing myself for what he would say next. Would he try to fix me? Correct me? Would he reject my pain by offering answers?

After a moment Andy said, “Jason, I want you to stand up with me. Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to hug you, and you need to let me hold you for at least two minutes. And I’m going to time it,” he said as he took off his watch, “so you’re not going anywhere.”

I’m not afraid of male bonding, but two minutes is a long time to hug anyone, let alone in the back lounge of a tour bus. I laughed nervously at first because I felt awkward. But then I found myself crying, and not long after that I started ugly crying. And then, as the last bit of strength I had been clinging to gave itself up, I felt like I sort of went limp and mostly just hung there, held up in the arms of my friend. He didn’t ask me to be okay. He didn’t offer answers. He just offered himself.

Pain is holy, and in the presence of holiness it’s often best to keep quiet. No words passed between us, but what Andy was saying, and what God was saying through him, was clear: “You are loved. You are not alone.”

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Tonya Mikhalych permalink
    March 6, 2014 2:25 pm

    Thank you Mr. Gray for such a moving story. I believe your honesty and candor is what draws people to listen to your music. I know that it is one of the reasons I was drawn to your work. I admire how courageous you are in your expression of your own life and walk with Jesus. I wish I could be more open and truthful without feeling like a charlatan, still I am hopeful that God will continue His grace with me in this area. Thank you again – God bless you and your family.

  2. tadsid permalink
    March 6, 2014 3:01 pm

    Thank you Mr. Gray for such a moving story. I believe your honesty and candor is what draws people to listen to your music. I know that is one of the reasons I was drawn to your work. I admire how courageous you are in your expression of music and in your own life. I wish I could be more open and truthful without feeling like a charlatan, still I am hopeful that God will continue His grace with me in this area. Thank you again. God bless you and your family.

  3. Karen permalink
    March 6, 2014 3:22 pm

    Jason – I just wanted to let you know that this song has deeply ministered to a dear, young friend whose husband just recently and unexpectedly died. He left 3 young daughters, ages 6, 9, and 11. My husband heard it on your new album and I forwarded the link to her on FB. She said she just cried and cried as she listened to the song over and over and over. It also ministered to the young man’s mom. Thank you for your ministry <3

  4. claire permalink
    March 13, 2014 6:54 pm

    O. wow.
    Thanks for this beautifully-crafted, deeply-true song.
    Thanks also for sharing the story behind it–moving and inspiring. Reminds me that it’s actually OK for us to be fully real and human.

  5. March 19, 2014 10:21 pm

    So powerful. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to do that. After our son died, I learned that there are all too often no words. Just presence and love.

  6. sewiam permalink
    March 21, 2014 7:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, Jason, it spoke volumes to me right now. God bless you dear brother.

    Stan Wangen

  7. April 8, 2014 7:35 pm

    Thank you for this song. Today marks the day in 2005 when I removed life support from my daughter, and so these words resonate with me when all I needed was someone to stand with me in silence and pray at the foot of the ashes.

  8. Donna Jerles permalink
    April 11, 2014 2:23 pm

    A week after I bought this cd, a friend’s husband of 3 and a half weeks died. This song, which had already deeply touched me, helped me tell her what I had in my heart. I am so thankful there are people in this world who can say out loud what is in my head.

  9. June 25, 2014 4:56 pm

    no words left to say this is JESUS LOVE it healed my heart thank you so mucht SHALOM!

  10. Laurie Jackson permalink
    July 23, 2014 1:49 pm

    I found this song because a heartbroken grandmother was given it by her daughter-in-law. Another son’s 3 month old baby boy suddenly developed health problems and was gone within a few weeks. Your song has ministered to that entire family as they grieve the loss of little Cooper and look forward to seeing him in heaven.

  11. stephanie permalink
    July 25, 2014 1:48 am

    Bloody Brilliant…

Trackbacks

  1. Jason Gray – Not Right Now | Tim Bendt
  2. What Gets Us Through . . . | Bear in Mind

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