We started recording a new album this year. We recorded at our hotels on the red light streets of Southeast Asia during the day while doing investigations and casework with The Exodus Road into the early morning hours. Trying to write songs of hope, freedom and refuge against a backdrop of war, slavery and exile.
Maybe a song can help part the waters in the sea of indifference. Maybe a melody can be a guide for us to pass through on dry ground. It was someone else’s songs, someone else’s art, films and quotes from courageous abolitionists of history that pulled me into the modern underground railroad. And it’s these songs of freedom that I have to offer to the resistance. These songs of freedom - it’s all I ever had. We’re going to spend the currency of this rock band on freedom.
We have our lives. The currency of our lives. What if we spend our lives on freedom, on justice, on compassion? What if you spend the currency of your time, your art, your youth, your platform, your privilege, your moral capital, your creativity, your imagination, your sweat and blood, your camera lens, your paintbrush, on someone else?
No one else has your fingerprints. No one else has your voice. No one else has your sphere of influence. No one else has your five loaves or your two fish. Imagine what it could turn into if we were willing to let it go.
Here’s my time. My voice. My song. My melody. What if I spend it on freedom - mercy - compassion?
Maybe we can tear a little corner off the darkness. Maybe we can keep the darkness at bay. And then eventually the darkness will be overcome by the light. The corruption, the evil, it simply can’t endure. By the very nature of corruption, it won’t last. It will crumble, it will turn to powder and dust.
The light, on the other hand, will last forever. Your bravery will echo throughout all eternity. There is an enduring quality to our selfless actions. Something that will outlive us. Something that will outlive galaxies.
The goodness, the bravery, the courage, the selflessness. It’s already there inside of you, it exists, you just have to wake it up. The fear is real, but courage is moving forward in the face of fear, and your bravery will inspire courageous actions in others. It’s contagious. Like ripples. Ripples turn to waves. As we join the rising tide of ordinary people who won’t look the other way. Speaking up for those whose voice is drowned out.
We are propelled forward by a strange force—this longing to participate in the freedom of another human being, this purpose, it burns in the deepest chambers of our souls. It’s blue fire in our veins. It’s woven into the very fabric of our DNA. It’s tugging at our heartstrings.
And I know your role in all of this will be different than mine. Your passion might be directed somewhere else in the arena of justice, or equality, or mercy. But it could be your life’s work. And it very well might cost us our lives.
we have just one life -
what will we spend it on?
and when we’re gone
in ages to come
the sages will write
so raged the bearers of the light
so waged the few with all their might
against the terrors of the night
- David Zach