Rarely — frankly never before, if my memory is correct — have I literally burst into tears upon hearing a song for the first time. But that is exactly what happened when I listened to Mumford & Sons ' new single, "I Will Wait," this morning.
This summer has been a difficult season for my family of origin. My parents are getting older and facing physical challenges that are testing all of our resolve and the core of our spirits. I've been away from my own family in California for a month — the longest I've ever been apart from my son. And it has been ... the word "hard" doesn't quite capture the feeling. Soul wrenching is closer.
In the midst of a roiling sea of emotions, I find myself clinging to faith like a life raft, while simultaneously wondering desperately what God's up to in all of this tsouris, as my rabbi friend might say.
Perhaps that's why "I Will Wait" put a lump in my throat and filled my still-sleepy eyes with hot tears. The author Frederick Buechner says that we should pay careful attention to the things that bring about such reactions, because they are signs that the holy is drawing nigh.
As listeners, we really can't be sure what a songwriter's intention was when he or she composed a song. While I don't know whether it is what Mumford & Sons intended, I hear "I Will Wait" as a prayer — waiting for clarity and meaning, for grace and peace that surpasses all understanding. Waiting on God.
If the band's debut album and the tidbits of their biography that fans have learned — for instance, lead vocalist Marcus Mumford's parents head the Vineyard Churches in the United Kingdom — are any indication of what their spiritual predliections  might be, my interpretation of "I Will Wait" might not be too far off the mark.
Whatever the true story or intentions of the band may be, "I Will Wait" was my prayer this morning when I heard the song for the first time on the radio as I drove to a cafe in the Connecticut village where I was raised to get a strong cup of coffee and a bowl of steel cut oatmeal to start my day. All three fortified my weary, twitterpated body and soul.
Here is "I Will Wait," the new single from Mumford & Sons' forthcoming album, Babel , which is due to drop on Sept. 25 (my birthday, because God, apparently, has a sense of occasion).
Can I get an Amen?
Cathleen Falsani is Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners. Follow Cathleen on Twitter @GodGrrl.