Death Be Not Proud

Every once in awhile, I come across a song that speaks to me. This is one of those songs. This captures, what I think, is the central human predicament. 

"Death be not proud though men will fear you.
And think you grave when they draw near you.
You take us down.
We can't escape the fact.
But I've learned by now your rite is just an act.
So lay my bones inside the hearse.
Take me in and do your worst.
But tell me why you choose to boast.
You're just a shadow and a ghost.
I'll breathe again – you'll be surprised.
When you're the only one who dies.
Death be not proud.
You'll soon find out.

You're not the end.
You're just the start of me.
Beneath my skin is the real heart of me.
So don't pretend that you can keep me locked forever in your grasp.
You're just a ship sunk on the ocean floor.
Your flag was stripped when you hit heaven's shore.
So close your grip.
But the only thing you'll ever hold is dust and ash.
Death be not proud of that.

Dates on a stone – they're just an alibi.
A simple line cannot sum up my life.
Beneath the tears.
The wreathes. the letters. and the roses.
God composes a new life as the old one decomposes. 
So come on death I've got your dues.
Take them anyway you choose.
And shake the heavens with your smile if my bones are worth your while.
But this coffin's just a womb thanks to the cross and empty tomb.
God will get the final laugh.
Death here he comes – your epitaph.

I lay down my life to find it again.
Dust turns to dust but my heart and soul ascend.
God bless the path that leads me through life's shallow end.
I lay down my life to find it at last.
Dust turns to dust but I escape this shipwrecked mast.
God bless the calm that drowns the voices from my past.
I lay down my life and find it anew.
Joy turns to joy at the thought of breaking through.
God bless the pain that makes me desperate for the view.
Death be not proud.
What are you boasting for?
Thanks be to god your walls are just an open door.
God bless the place where you can't haunt me anymore.
You can't haunt me anymore."

The Fear of God

Dear God, why should I think You’re good in a world that’s falling apart?
The flags and lies, picket signs raised high, the endless enveloping dark
Now here we sit, drifting further from You, two thousand years on their way out
Now here I am, as I’ve grown to know You, still haunted by my fears and my doubts

Just a man, just a vapor, just a waste of your space
All the good that I’ve done is in spite of myself
I’m not sure that I can look You in Your face when I finally set foot in Your kingdom

Dear God, what went wrong? We hate ourselves, we hate our brother
We so desperately want to find our way, and all You say is “love one another”

And little babies starve to death, emaciated, out of breath
Unfaithful wives make vows untrue, husbands beat them black and blue
Junkies vomit in the streets, writhing, twitching in their skin
Sell themselves to die some more, rotting from the outside in
Parents steal the innocence from their children, scared and shaking
Drink away the guilt at night, brings quiet to the endless aching
And evil men boast on TV, swimming in a sea of wealth
While misery beds honest men, and lonely people kill themselves
And everyone cries out Your name, as the world is raped by selfishness
And no one knows the way to heaven, we only know the emptiness
And the storm it rages in my heart, and the endless empty roars in my ears
My world is coming all apart, I’ve no strength left to dry my tears
And through it all I hear Your voice, breaking my heart, breaking my will
Calms the storm inside my soul as You whisper “peace, be still…”

You place Your hands around my heart, You quiet the emptiness in me
A king that kneels, a God made a servant, You set the captives free
You wait for me, a wretch of a man, no record of wrongs do You keep
You are comfort when I mourn, You are strength when I am weak
Jesus Christ, the king of kings
Though we ache, though we cry, never break, never die
We sing of His great love again and again
And His love reigns forever, and forevermore
Forever and ever, Amen

This song is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. I can’t stop listening to it.

Song written and recorded by the musical group Showbread. I hold no rights to this song or lyrics.