Susan Enan, and why bad news can be good to listen to

Yesterday my reading of Psalm 49 definitely helped frame my frustrations with an apparent dip in my neighborhood housing prices. Houses just don’t last forever. Nothing man-made necessarily will last forever, just like “cold November rain.” Thank you Axl Rose. 
But Revelation 21 does remind us that there will be business going on and people will be bringing their “glory” into the new heavenly city. So the good stuff of culture will be around: I just don’t get a vote or say or knowledge of what might be staying. With that said, we can’t take anything to the grave. Especially not homes or kayaks.
“10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names.” Psalm 49:10-11
Far from depressing me, this Psalm actually encouraged me. The thought that the materials in the world I often envy, like bigger houses, or better fishing gear, will ultimately be in-accessible in the grave encourages me to put them in their proper place in the bigger story.
While I’m not sure where artist Susan Enan stands spiritually (she did respond to an email saying “thanks” after I told her how much I liked her music-so obviously that bumps her up in my book), her music is deep. I don’t expect Christian themes from non-Christian artists, but I do expect music to be robust, deep, and true to life. And all her music from is. It actually seems very “psalm-ish” or maybe even “ecclesiastes-ish.” Below are lyrics from “The Grave” off her most recent album Plainsong.
All of your work won’t fit in the earth
When you’re lying underground in the grave
Whatever amount in your balanced account
There’s nothing you can buy in the grave

In the next age, no stock exchange
Is going to pass on the money we make
No lottery wins, political spins
When we’re lying underground in the grave

No surgery defies gravity
But it all falls away in the grave
And who’s gonna care what color you wear?
There’s no fashion show in the grave

So swallow it down, no easy way around
Just a pill for the thrills that we crave
But no medicine to stop kingdom come
It’s your time, get in line, for the grave

And we’ll all be the same
And we’ll go as we come
Side by side, as we lie in the grave
We’ll all be the same
We’ll go as we came
Side by side, as we lie in the grave 

I love raw music. And I love music that is true. So much of this is true. While there are shades of redemption like “kingdom come” and “next age,” nothing hopeful seriously emerges. But whether Enan believes or not, she points me to Someone who conquered the grave and will one day usher in the resurrection. The grave is our next stop, and should always sober our idolatry of material, appearance, fame, prosperity, approval, pleasure. That’s one reason we have the book of Ecclesiastes. But the New Heavens and New Earth, and the bodily resurrection to a new and physical world, marks the final destination for the Christian pilgrim.
All good music points us to Jesus. Either indirectly to our need for Jesus or directly to what Jesus has already accomplished for us. I definitely recommend checking out Susan Enan’s Plainsong, though its no longer free at noisetrade.com.  You’ll be glad you did, as it is worth $8.99 here.
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