Do you ever have words and a melody from an unknown song stuck in your head, but they totally encapsulate an idea or experience or goal? You spend your days humming this mysterious melody and thinking these unknown words, trying desperately to remember what the song is and who sang it.
That’s what this post has felt like for the past couple weeks. Unknown words and a mysterious melody has been floating in and out of my mind, and I haven’t been able to place it. It’s kinda like Nicholas Cage with that boat-pipe-thing in National Treasure; we know it unlocks a treasure, but we don’t know where to go to unlock it or what it’s gonna be when it’s unlocked.
Finally, this morning I realized the words and the melody. My dear reader, may I introduce to you the first words of the second mixtape of our friend Chance the Rapper:
“And we back. And we back, and we back, and we back, and we back, and we. And we back, and we back. Hey, this ain’t no intro, this the entrée.”
Why I’m Back (Or, Why Drew Brown (Still) Writes)
It’s been nearly a year since we last spoke.
A lot’s changed and a lot’s stayed the same, and I’ve felt the Lord pointing me back to this little site in this little corner of the world wide web.
When I stopped writing on here, I told people it was because of the self-promotion. The whole “Look at me” and “I’m special; here’s my face plastered all over a website that’s named after me!” And to an extent this was true; it all felt a little narcissistic (That classic Boomer put down, “You Millennials and your selfies!”). The shallow Drew really wanted to have fans, but the real Drew wanted to have friends. This hasn’t changed.
However, as I continued to live life and pray and learn, I realized this was just a cover-up for the real reason I left writing: fear. I was fearful of the trolls living under the bridge, of the people who could twist my words or write disparaging comments. I was afraid of offending people and having opinions others disagreed with.
But key people and mentors in my life told me to write. They said I had something to say, even when I felt like I didn’t. My best friend Glenn told me that fear is never a reason to retire. The fear of the Lord leads to awe and humility; the fear of humanity leads to paralysis and suffocation. I was trying to convince myself I was fearing the Lord when I was really just afraid of myself and the way I could be hurt.
So yeah. I’m back. We back. In the words of Michael Scott, “I Braveheart.”
This ain’t no intro, this the entrée.
Onto the Sophomore Album
Good sophomore albums or mixtapes, like Chance’s Coloring Book or Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly or Relient k’s Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek, show more developed sounds and deeper lyricism. You get more maturity—a product of going around the block once or twice. Artists hone in on what makes them unique, what lights their passions. They’re the same artists from the first album, and a lot remains the same—yet they’re deeper somehow, more refined.
I’m hoping this site is that kind of sophomore album.
What to Expect
I really don’t like those articles that say Four Ways to Fix Your Life or This One Small Change Will Revolutionize Your Romance because, well, they don’t really help.
Yes, I understand that if I saved money and loved God perfectly and had a six pack that glowed in the dark, my life would be pretty organized. I know what the right answers are: go to bed early, eat healthy, do devotions every day. But it’s easy to say the right answer sometimes without actually living into them. Every Sunday School kid knows when it’s time to say “Jesus,” and every Sunday School kid also knows when it’s time to go home and feel depressed and text girls who don’t like you to try and cover up the ache.
I want to talk to that kid because I am that kid. And I’ve found that Jesus loves that kid enough to create a new creation. Like really, truly create a person who can say the answer to life’s problems is Jesus and really mean it.
And this past year I’ve watched as God’s begun to create new melodies and passions in me that I could never anticipate. In the past year…
…I’ve been diagnosed with OCD.
…I moved to the northeast and entered into seminary and grad studies.
…I discovered I’m passionate about race and the ways we structure our lives to ignore inequality.
…And I got really into racquetball.
This site is going to reflect on these discoveries as I trace the melodies God is playing in my life and discover the harmonies he creates with others.
Above everything, I deeply, deeply pray that God is working and moving and creating within me a new heart. Would you walk with me?