Published on August 22nd, 2019 | by Nina Pulley
[Listen] Sunshine Playlist
You walk outside on a hot summer day. You’re wearing your favorite visor, holding your phone-powered fan in hand, and a few bottles of water are tucked away in your bag. As you walk down your street, you see fire hydrants spraying water across the pavement as the exuberant yells of little kids echo down the block. Older residents recline in the shade of trees in front of their houses and in the park, nodding at you tranquilly as they engage in conversation about what happened at church last Sunday, or brag about seeing their grandbabies over the weekend and how big they’re getting and how smart they’re becoming.
It’s summertime, the season of outdoor BBQ’s, getting your hair done, cut-off shorts, pool parties, and, perhaps most importantly, a bomb soundtrack to life. Music, especially in the season of the sun, is part of the experience. Nothing compares to the feeling of immersing yourself in a sea full of good vibes and people just looking to have fun and share a memorable experience with one another. Although concerts can get a little crazy, they can be a lot of fun, and free events, festivals, workshops, coffeeshop jazz nights and open mics indicate the popularity and centrality of music in the season of blue skies and blooming green.
Gospel music is no stranger to the idea of sunshine. In fact, one of the most famous songs written in gospel music, called You Brought the Sunshine, was written and performed by the Clark Sisters, singing about God’s goodness and grace and comparing it to sunshine – in essence, light, warmth, relief, and hope. Furthermore, songs have the ability to take us places, just like stories; they impart wisdom, encourage us, deepen our understanding of things and motivate us towards a communal goal or aspiration. In this playlist, Corinne Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, the Clark Sisters, Common, Robert Glasper, Pharaoh Sanders and more take us to a place of light and love as they sing about the brightest thing in our lives, His Son.
The sun guides as we look upon our lives and focus upon the most important things in life, choosing to keep to the light and move forward every day while we turn to our own source of warmth within and above. Looking to the God of our understanding isn’t easy, because it can sometimes feel like looking into the sun. At first, we might wince, overwhelmed by the sheer concentration of power and heat. Yet, there are ways we can constantly seek His presence by emerging from the shade and finding a place to walk in the warm, life-supporting essence of His grace. Take this playlist as the sun in your garden, leading to the photosynthesis of hopes and dreams, a little encouragement, and another playlist to bump to at the height of summer.