It’s All For You

 ◊  Saint Cuthbert, pray for us

Do we dare say it, “it’s all for you”?

The winters marked the Earth
Its floor with frozen glass
You slip into my arms
And you quickly correct yourself

Your freezing speech bubbles
Seem to hold your words aloft
I want the smoky clouds of laughter
To swim about me forever more

I will race you to the waterside
And from the edge of Ireland shout out loud
So they could hear it in America
It’s all for you

The shells crack under our shoes
Like punctuation points
The planets bend between us
A hundred million suns and stars

The sea filled in this silence
Before you said those words
And now even in the darkness
I can see how happy you are

I will race you to the waterside
And from the edge of Ireland shout out loud
So they could hear it in a America
It’s all for you

It’s all for you (x4)

— Snow Patrol, “The Planets Between Us” (sound clip, video)

Many beautiful love songs apply to God and us as much as for two people in love. After all, God is love. That makes Him a lover too. This song in particular is heart-warmingly haunting. Not only the tone of the music, but especially the rising crescendo at the ending. It seems almost too good to be true.

Contemporary skeptics about God or even about humanity would say that it is presumptuous to say that “It’s all for you”, implying that this world, this universe was made just for us humans. In a way, it is. But it is not just about us; it’s about everything, all of creation is for all of creation. Also, if it is for us, then we have a responsibility to it, and to God the Giver of the gift.

Parts of this song remind me of a poem by St. Francis of Assisi, “God Too Would Kneel Down”, where God would travel around the world and be with people who are weeping, laughing, and worshiping. Here, God is singing to me, how my laughter is important to Him, how my presence is important to Him. I am reminded of the old father in the Lost Son parable (aka the Prodigal Son) running to meet his lost son, but this time, God is racing with me to the edge of the land, to shout across the ocean about His love for me. And I’m going to shout my love for God.

Then the lyrics kind of juxtapose themselves. Is it God singing to me, or me singing to God, or both? The silence, “before you said those words”. What words? Whose words? Words of love? Faith? Trust? Hope? Remember, it is both of us expressing these words.

America, a symbol of the modern world, can you hear God’s words? Can you hear mine? Do you dare take responsibility that it might just be all for us? That we all are here for each of us?

“They shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)