ESCAPING THE BLUES
Driving Toward Daylight–Joe Bonamassa
The Blues is an interesting genre of music. Can’t we all relate to the blues? The styles vary from John Lee Hooker to Doc Watson and all sorts in between. Sometime back I discovered Joe Bonamassa. Joe is a rock and blues guitar genius. He started playing at age four and played with B. B. King at age twelve. He has become one of my favorite guitarist and singer.
While I don’t think Joe has lived the bluesman’s life, he seems to understand the blues and his songs demonstrate that, like must humans, he has suffered the blues. The song, Running Towards Daylight moves me deeply. It is a sad song. The song describes failure at love and the desperate desire to escape the darkness. I suspect that Bonamassa has captured the life experience of many people in all sorts of situations. How many of us felt that we were “running toward daylight, running from the midnight?” The question is, do we ever find the daylight or, are we always running from the midnight but never quite escape the vaporous bonds that hold us in the dark?
I think that Joe has tapped deep into the human soul and found the archetype of human bondage, what Martin Luther referred to as the bondage of the will. Most of us, knowing the darkness in our souls, feel the struggle to move toward daylight and go home. But where is home and why is the darkness never ending?
My mind turns to the Gospel of John. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (Joh 1:4-5 NAS) It is the blues right out of the Bible. Instead of running toward the light, we tend to withdraw into the darkness. We have a sense that we belong some place else but we can’t go home because the darkness will not let us go.
We don’t need this kind of blues. It reflects a destroyed soul where death resides. The good news is found in the same verses. The light that came into the world overcomes the darkness by His own power. That light is the Word. In ancient philosophy the Word was the creative force of the universe. It was thought that all there is was created by the Word. John tells us that the Word is God in the flesh. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:14 NAS)
Jesus is the Light of the world. His glory shines like the brightness of a new day. If we run toward the Light of the world, we will certainly find Christ. It is in him that we start the journey home, to that place our hearts most deeply desire.
Most likely, we will face the blues from time to time. But there is one kind of blues we do not need. We don’t have to live without hope. We do not need to be cosmically homeless. Surely when we run toward the daylight, we will find escape from darkness because the Sonlight will scatter the darkness. And the instant we find that brilliant light, we will find our way home.