Povestea din Spate (EN)
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. (Psalm 42:7) Marty Nystrom has courage. He’s also human. Why? He admits that the song “As the Deer” he wrote in 1981 sprang from an incident in his life in which he was not spiritually motivated…at least not at its beginning. His song’s words make us think ‘this composer must have really been close to God’, as we sing of panting and longing for Him. But, this is where knowing the song story really helps me get in touch with how I, like others before me, can draw close to the Lord. It begins in a desert, in which I’m pretty distant from the Holy One. That’s where I must begin? That’s what Nystrom’s experience suggests. The Psalm he read (Psalm 42) that helped him vocalize his journey to draw closer is a “maskil”, a further lesson for us believers who hear his story and compare it to other ‘maskil’ Psalms. In short, from a pit where we may find ourselves, God can perhaps use us most effectively. Marty Nystrom travelled to Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1981, because he was chasing…God? No, a girl. And, when his heart was broken over her, he bemoaned where he was stuck. It was a hot time of year (when is summertime in Dallas not hot?!), and he admits he might have gone home, except that “I didn’t have a ticket.” Amazingly, he took a friend’s advice to fast, to consume nothing but water as a way to draw himself back toward God. After 19 days Nystrom was in a pit, physically, not completely unlike what other Psalmists must have felt when they wrote ‘maskils’ (like Psalms 32, 42, 44-45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88-89, and 142). It’s a cry out to God. Now, Nystrom’s hurt over a girl might not seem as serious as some of the life-threatening episodes in the maskils we can read. But, if you’ve ever been in his shoes, you know what it’s like to be in a dump, emotionally. That’s where Marty Nystrom was in the early summer of 1981, and then later, after being nourished for many days with only water and the Spirit, he sat at a piano and read the words of Psalm 42. Nystrom’s song story has another twist. The words and the melody that he composed, though he couldn’t have known this, resonate in a special way with people on the opposite side of the globe from the song’s birthplace. In Korea, for instance, a worship conference that Nystrom attended in the 1990s began with 100,000 Koreans singing “As the Deer”. Amazing, or just routine when God has someone’s attention in a pit? Marty Nystrom’s experience shows me again that God, when he’s trying to speak to me, takes away things that distract me. He won’t shout above the noise in my life, which might even be another person that I think He’s directed my way. But, if I can isolate myself from my surroundings, even if it hurts, that’s where He is. It might be tough on this planet with billions of people, but Nystrom’s chronicle tells me solitude is a valuable, even sacred goal. Perhaps that’s what 100,000 Koreans were hearing in this Texas desert tune. Information on Marty Nystrom’s story obtained from “Our God Reigns: The Stories behind Your Favorite Praise and Worship Songs”, by Phil Christensen and Shari MacDonald, Kregel Publications, 2000. A shorter version of Nystrom’s song story is in “The Complete Book of Hymns: Inspiring Stories About 600 Hymns and Praise Songs”, by William J. and Ardythe Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006.