Hope is the Anthem

I remember the moment when I first started listening to Switchfoot – it was one of the family trips in the summer of ’05 as we headed down to Philly. My brother had made a mix CD for the road trip for our Walkmans (remember those?), and there were a couple tracks that were songs from the San Diego rock n’ roll band. Of course as most CDs only held about 10-12 tracks worth of songs, we listened to them on endless loops. As years would go by and I would listen to more and more of Jon Foreman’s song, a deep connection began to grow with the lyrics that he pens. They speak of humanity, the searching in our hearts for something greater, of love, and of hope – Jon Foreman had a way with words that resonated with the core of my heart.

In the midst of all of this world’s brokenness, it’s Switchfoot lyrics that keep coming to me again and again. I try not to turn into a broken record with some of them, but often times nothing else ever feels as appropriate. There is no question, no matter who you ask, that will not see that this world we live in is in desperate need of healing. In an age when breaking news occur at a rate unlike any other, sometimes we become quick to forget the tragedies that unfolded a few weeks before, simply because there is not enough time to share it with the tragedies that are happening still. We’ve lost count of how many shootings, bombings, vehicle plowings, police assaults, civilian assaults, have occurred.

It’s hard for me not to imagine that our hearts break each time, but how many pieces has it been broken into already? And can we possibly bear another one? There is no escaping that the effects of sin reeks in the world we live in today. We live with the evil perpetrated by men as our neighbors, always just a few steps away. The political and social tides in the U.S. are as divisive and as polarizing as ever; we seemed to have lost the middle ground. To our brothers and sisters in arms living in this nation of ours, I hear Jon Foreman beg the question:

America who are you?
Am I asking for too much
America who are you?
Has your dream become out of touch
America who are you?
Do you get what you deserve
Between the violence and entitlements
Which nation do you serve?

On the Stateside, I believe that America has been broken for an extremely long time, and only now are we being forced to recognize and deal with that – in a very ugly manner. We claim to fight and stand for the same ideals, but it’s as evident as ever that we have very different opinions of what those ideals are.

As a believer in Jesus I know that though the world looks pretty torn from the outset, there is this hope that I can cling onto that all the violence, war, suffering, and pain, will one day cease. But in the meantime on this side of heaven, we will continue to hear the deafening cries of the brokenness still seeking solace.

Hope is the anthem of my soul.

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