April 22, 2011

For quite some time now, I have been a huge fan of a website called Basically, this website allows musical artists to post their songs for free download and trade them for email addresses and free publicity. I can’t tell you how many dozens of artists I now strongly advocate for because of this website. Most of the time, I check out artists based on recommendation or based on already knowing some of their other music, but occasionally I will choose to listen to a random artist just for the heck of it. That is just what I was doing about a month ago when I happened upon the incredibly talented Hannah Gingrich.

I downloaded the four songs that Hannah had posted and started playing the first one. It was a song called, “Ruined”. Within moments, I was floored by how beautiful it was. The melody, the simple guitar, the lyrics, all of it. The entire song is this beautiful prayer of change that I find myself listening to often.

The lyrics start out with, “Oh, I am ruined over you. I’ll never see the morning light the same.” That first line alone hits me hard. Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of my former self. The Allison that I was before I understood the magnitude of love that died for me 2000 years ago. This song reminds me of how far away that Allison is but also how relentlessly my King is drawing me closer to him still.

To ruin something is to destruct it, to completely break it down. That’s not an easy thing. In fact, it is downright ugly sometimes. And most of the time, in terms of my life and my relationship with Christ, that ruining happens daily. All growing up, I prayed for God to humble me, like it was nothing, like that was something that could happen overnight. It was later in life that I learned that to  humble is to humiliate. The two even come from the same root. I was a little less cavalier about praying, “Dear God, please humiliate me today. Amen.” But how necessary it is..

The lyrics to the second line of the song are, “these waters have drowned the life I knew.” For me, it is so easy to pray for the Lord to humble me, as long as he doesn’t do it all the way, or at least not every day. I can pray for Him to change some stuff, but leave some of it the same. But that’s the thing, God is not a half-and-half God. He is an all or nothing God. You can’t half drown something. You can’t half ruin something. It totally changes everything. And that is what strikes me as so beautiful about this song.

That second sentence, “I’ll never see the morning light the same” doesn’t happen without the former view being totally ruined. To me, it is almost like that classic optical illusion of the duck and the rabbit.

When I first saw that, I was so sure that it was a duck and nothing more, until someone pointed out that it looks like a rabbit from a different angle. Every time I look at the illusion now, I see the rabbit first. I know that the duck is still there. I can still find the duck with a quick shift but my mind now defaults to that being a picture of a rabbit.

That may seem like a ridiculous metaphor but the point is, I have this ability to see things in life in a completely new light. I should see everything through this lens of this faith that I have chosen. But that lens doesn’t remain without the ruining. It doesn’t happen without me being willing to be broken down. Daily.

So Dad, humble me. Every day. Ruin all my plans and all my thoughts on how things ought to be and replace them with what You have for me. Amen.

“Ruined” by Hannah Gingrich

Oh, I am ruined over You, over You

I’ll never see the morning light the same.

Oh, I am ruined over You, over You

These waters have drowned the life I knew

When these storms rage and my heart sinks low

You’ve come to save me from this place

And all I’ve seen has crashed and burned

But now I know Your hand’s on me


2 Responses to “Ruined”

  1. beautiful song, beautiful post.
    keep writing.

  2. emily said

    what are the chords for the song ruined?

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