Back Story: There is a Light
This song was written for my dear friend, Bill Bolling, who has run the Atlanta Food Bank for over thirty-five years. Bill is real smart and could have made a lot of money, but has chosen instead to build a process that gets millions of pounds of food to people in need. And just as important, it’s a process that gets thousands of people coming together to do something that is kind and larger than themselves.
The song started out as an expression of my feelings about him, including feelings about the way he pushes himself and the effect on his health. For a long time I had several verses that I liked, but no chorus. That was because I hadn’t recognized what the song was really about. Then it was clear. I understood something of the essence of the work he was doing and why it is beautiful to me.
There is a light, a soul, in every human being–regardless of their outer garments or their circumstances in life. It’s something inherently sacred. When this is seen then everyone counts; no one is dispensable. If we see the poor and homeless as somehow less than others, then we are seeing the surface and not that underlying light. That’s it. Now we have the chorus.
PS—During the writing of this song I was also inspired by the book Tattoos on the Heart — the memoir of Father Gregory Boyle, another living embodiment of the Christ spirit.
What happened the last time you realized that there was more to someone than what you initially saw?