Jon Foreman of Switchfoot is sharing acoustic, solo versions of their music during the pandemic of COVID-19 and we dig deeper into his offerings of heartfelt thoughts and encouraging words sharing during the first week.
During the past week, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot has used social media to offer some hope and encouragement as the United States dives deep into the COVID-19 pandemic. He shares heartfelt thoughts and encouraging words accompanied by singing to a solo, acoustic guitar arrangement of the song he chose for the night. In the description of the first song, he said, "I don't have the answers, but I do know that love and melody can remind us to have hope and to be kind to one another. Music has always been there for me. I hope you can find some comfort in it too. Love to you and your family. Stay safe out there."
Night 1: "Vice Verses" Jon started off the week with an encouraging and hopeful attitude by saying, "Hey everybody, this is a crazy, crazy week and when words fail and I can't seem to find any sort of answers, I turn to music. And so this week, I'm just gonna be doing just that. Playing a song a day and praying for everybody out there. Stay safe and stay sane and reach out to the people and things that you love. Music has always been there for me. This is a song called 'Vice Verses.'"
"Vice Verses" challenges us to come to terms with life not being fair. You might be sick, stuck at home or recently lost your job. Someone else might be experiencing the opposite, and that is ok because that is how life works since so much is out of our control. Are you content with where God has you? Do you trust that He is in control?
Night 2: "Joy Invincible" Jon kept it short for night two, saying "Day two of social distancing... hope everyone is doing okay out there. Here is a song called 'Joy Invincible.'"
"Joy Invincible" challenges us to find joy even in the hard times. The context of this song includes seeing a loved one suffer in a hospital, as an example. Wherever you are, how are you finding joy, or how can you find joy, regardless of what is going on?
Night 3: "Hope Is The Anthem" Jon starts with an emphatic sigh and says, "Hi everybody. Social distancing day three... Here is a song called 'Hope Is The Anthem.'"
For many people, they can carry on and push through the storm, if they have hope. That is what this song is about. If you truly have hope, you and the others around you will be encouraged to continue onward. Are you trusting in the hope that God is in complete control?
Night 4: "Hello, Hurricane" "Hey everybody, how are you holding up? This is day four for me. I figured I'd play a song I wrote when I was weathering a storm. I feel like we are weathering a storm, as a human race. We're going to get through this, we're going to get through to the other side. Keep reaching out to the people you love, that love you. Here is a song called 'Hello, Hurricane.'"
"Hello, Hurricane" is a song for everyone who needs someone to relate to in the midst of a struggle, or "hurricane." Let yourself be encouraged by this song that relates to so many of us. The song challenges us to say to the storm in our life, "You can't silence my love." What opportunities has a "hurricane" in your life given you to show love?
Night 5: "Let Your Love Be Strong" After the state of California shut down, Jon could not go to the studio setting, so he changed the title to "From Home" instead of "From the Studio." He still sounded great and optimistic though. He shares, "So, it's been a wild day. California is on a complete lockdown. I'm sure a lot of us are feeling different things. At first, I felt really frustrated. Then realizing how much I take for...granted. It was very convicting. I'm hoping everyone out there is safe. We are doing the best thing for our communities, ourselves. Yea, taking things seriously. This song is a song I wrote on the train tracks. It's called 'Let Your Love Be Strong.'"
Faith, hope, and love are the three greatest attributes in the Bible, and it says the greatest of these is love. Similarly to "Hello, Hurricane," this song challenges us to love well and strong. How can you strengthen your love for others and God?
Night 6: "Your Love Is A Song" "Hey everybody. This song has a strange explanation, but these are strange times," shared Jon. "Talking about things that you can't see, that we're all afraid of and threatened by. This song was inspired by string theory. All the energy–all we touch and feel, and interact with–is in fact created by vibrating strings of sorts. For me as a musician, this makes me think of this great symphony of life, this universe, that vibrates with different notes and rhythms. And one day, all of these dissonant melodies, in all the things that we feel so wrong will be set right, by the Composer. It's called 'Your Love Is A Song.'"
Jon sings, "I've got my eyes wide open. I've been keeping my hopes unbroken." This song challenges us to keep looking for God's ever-present love around us. This can be difficult in the middle of a storm, but with a hope unbroken, we can begin to see that He is "a symphony, all around me, running through me." Lean into this comforting truth and you will feel loved amongst the loneliness of this pandemic.
Night 7: "Only Hope" "What's going on everybody, how are you doing?" Jon started tonight out by asking. "My friend and I were talking about the fact that these are strange times, we all need to find new things to look forward to, new parts of the day that were anticipating. For me, this is one of those things that I'm looking forward to. I'd like to bring us back to the 1900s. This was written in 1998. Simpler times... this song is called 'Only Hope'."
This song challenges us to pray like Jon does with the chorus: "So I lay my head back down. And I lift my hands and pray. To be only yours. I pray to be only yours. I know now you're my only hope" Will you be bold enough to pray this prayer?
Closing Thoughts Jon Foreman has always been a prominent and passionate advocate for hope and love, no matter who or what the situation. I am grateful for him taking the time to use music to reach out to many people struggling right now. He is one of many artists taking to a digital medium during this time, and we have the opportunity to listen to songs of hope and love through many of those.
Thank you, Jon.
Ryan Adams is the resident rock reporter here at NRT. He lives in Ohio and loves to share his heart for heavy music and Jesus together through ministry here.
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