Media And Mourning: Somebody Said A Prayer

front-gravesLiving here in Nashville, Tennessee, one is surrounded by many different forms of music, all finding some degree of nerve center here. Country music is a medium of storytelling, in many cases, one of the most powerful music media for the telling of tales that exists. From Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift, the delivery of “they’re telling my story” parables in music has had a rising following and deepening impact on societies around the world.

Whether you’re a country music fan or not, watch the following video from the famed Billy Ray Cyrus, the father of Miley Cyrus (whose home church we’ve visited while living here). Note the mixture of media to tell a story – from the childlike faith to move mountains embodied only in the film portion, to the bottle of pills one never sees sung in the lyrics. I’ve cried every single time I see this.

It speaks to the timeless theme of mourning, death, and hope reborn. Responses to grief – hopelessness, lingering sadness, despair and courage to go on – all are encased in a simple story told in mixed media.

The best moment of all, for me, is when the youngest child kneels down to pray – and flashes of his father teaching him to pray grace the scene.

As a Dad who has worked all my life to teach my children to pray, I break down at this point every time. The writers, directors, producers, cinematographers and artist have me here, everytime. They could almost deliver any truth (or falsehood) to me at this point, and I would at the very least be vulnerable to it.

Would you not show this to someone who needs hope, and believes in the power of prayer?

Join the storytellers, songwriters, film makers, and media painters. There is a glorious Story of Hope to be told – in a thousand ways.