ASHES OR GOLD?

By Janie Ivey and Michael Lehr

(A song about the alienation of outsiders in certain churches)


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This was developed from another set of Janie Ivey’s very honest lyrics, and I love the imagery. It’s not at all regular worship music, but I do think it has something important to say to the Church, which is why I’ve included it in this section. It might just speak to people as a solo item in certain types of worship setting.

An MP3 (3.9 Mb) can be downloaded by clicking here.

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Words (by Janie Ivey and Michael Lehr)

All pristine and noble
With their ducks in a row -
She’s certain there's things that they won’t want to know.
And it’s not so shiny in the land where she lives;
There are too many takes
And not enough gives -
Ashes or gold?

She’s there every Sunday,
Keeps herself to herself,
A virtual beggar midst spiritual wealth.
There’s no one to talk to, no one comes around,
So she worships alone
In a Holy ghost town -
Ashes or gold?

Chorus:
Ashes or gold?
Ashes or gold?
One slips through God’s fingers,
The other he’ll hold.
We skim on the surface,
He searches the soul.
If we saw through his eyes
We’d be stunned with surprise
To discover what we see as ashes is his gold.

So rev’rent and sparkling;
It’s a self-righteous scene.
She stands on the fringes where she goes unseen.
She’s suffered such deep blows and her back’s to the wall,
And she’s ready to break
From the weight of it all -
Ashes or gold?

Chorus

Coda:
She’s burning with questions
And she longs for a friend,
But it’s easy to see
That she’s not one of them.
She calls out in silence
As they exit the door;
Then she falls through the cracks
Of a holey church floor.

Ashes or gold? (repeat and fade)

2000 Reflection Christian Music


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