Panning for gold…


 I go to the riverbed, shoes on the shore

I’m shaking a little bit, hardly know what for

Oh, and the water’s cloudy as the sky

I’m looking for answers in the riverbed of life…

My parents are pretty amazing, no doubt about that.  My childhood was filled with enough love to make the frequent relocations more than bearable, our house filled with people always.  I have no complaints.

But Mom & Dad were very careful about what kinds of music, books, and television we consumed, so I missed a few moments in pop culture while I grew.  Okay, I didn’t know a single Prince song until I saw Pretty Woman.  That’s a fact, Jack.  (Unfortunate that I didn’t miss more of the fashion trends.)

But as they slowly opened the doors for us to explore music and film during our teen years, they also taught us to pay attention.  To think for ourselves.  To listen and work to discern truth and notice all the big and small ways Truth gets told in stories that aren’t necessarily telling – or trying to tell – the whole gospel truth.

 I go to the pages handed down and worn

I’m hearing the sages with the truth on their tongues

Sifting beauty from the layers of ash

I’m tracing the universe with my fingers in the sand…

Above all they showed us that all people are worth our attention and that there’s nothing more important than looking for things to love in others.

Over time, for me, that theme has carried over into the way I see all of life–our books, films, music.  There’s gold just about everywhere.  Maybe all our moments–of triumph and failure and longing and love and humanity–are moments within the great story.

It’s a game of Where’s Waldo or I Spy.  Give us something well-made, thoughtfully crafted, and shaped in pursuit of excellence. Don’t we want to spot the good, the true, the hopeful, the redemption, the STORY – even if only glimpses – in the most unlikely places?  Cosmos from chaos, as Madeleine L’Engle wrote in Walking On Water.

Sometimes the good is more breathtaking for having been discovered like a baby grand at Goodwill.

It’s here in the city where the nations converge

It’s in the graffiti and the shapes of the earth

Choir lofts and kitchens, where voices ring loud

Reflections of faith shining glory over doubt…

Friends, I’m about to do something different, and I’m a bit tentative. Not because I have doubts.  But because I’m so hopeful you’ll want to go down to the riverbed with me and do some panning.  I’m so hopeful that you’ll be as excited as I am to put fingers in the sand and trace the true, even in the dark moments of your own journey.

Get ready.  Sharing soon.

Gonna be beautiful.  And fun.  And truly worthwhile.

Panning for gold, I’m panning for gold

Until I have all my heart can hold…


10 Responses

  1. this is one of my favorite songs… well, I think that about each one of your songs… because each one speaks in special ways through different seasons of life. I am in a season of asking Jesus… where am I supposed to put my boat in the water… He stands on the shore with us… just like the disciples… and says… just put your boat in the water and let your nets down… maybe pan for some gold…
    Blessings and grace~

    • Always love hearing from you, ro! I completely get that, the wondering about where to put the boat in. I find myself in that place over and over again…sometimes it seems best to just put in where I stand and pray the current rights me if I’m wrong. Nets…pans…yes! :)

  2. Bringing light to those dark moments is awkward, often painful, but I find more often than not rewarding and growth provoking….can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store. :)

    • Thanks, Diana. :) Love you & how you keep working to see the light in the dark. I do think you’ll see the gold in this!

  3. I can’t wait to hear, Christa. Praying for you as you take this next step!!

    • Kris, thank you – need those prayers and am so grateful for them and for you.

  4. Excited to see what you’re up to, Christa! I’m sure it will be wonderful and you will do very well.

    • You know, it really does take a village. :) Thanks for being part of mine, Matthew!

  5. Christa,
    Here’s the deal, God is so AMAZING and THOUGHTFUL and PERSISTENT when He wants us to catch something! More than anything right now He is teaching me to look for Him…everywhere, in everyone, every day! To see with the eyes only He can open! So, “Panning for Gold” is kinda exactly what I’m doing, and I can’t wait to go on this journey with you…whatever “our” part may be:)!

    • Dear Anastasia, well, you’ve just done one of the most important things, which is “say something that convinces me to keep going TODAY.” :) Thanks so much for sharing how you relate & for your enthusiasm! :)

  6. […] The video trailer tells part of the story behind this effort, but I’ve written a bit more of it on the Kickstarter page & would love you to pop over there to read about how this project has everything to do with an earlier post I wrote on Panning for Gold. […]

  7. […] couple months ago I wrote about the song and idea behind “Panning for Gold,” and the new work I was thinking about as I wrote was this upcoming EP of cover songs I’m […]

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