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In the Bible, there was a stone between two places where the Lord had allowed Samuel to be triumphant in battle. Samuel recognized that it was God's ever-present support that had brought him through victorious and he acknowledged that by naming the stone "Ebenezer", meaning "stone of help".
The thing that fascinates me so much about this story, to the point that I would be inspired to write a song about it, is Samuel's clarity. In our lives, I think there are a lot of times when we like to ask God "Why me?". We toss and turn in our so-called adversity and we overdramatize it to the point that it would seem outrageous for a supreme being not to intervene.
This song is not so much about waiting on God to intervene (that part is assumed to be constant) as much as it is about waiting on ourselves to hand over the reigns and experience the kind of clarity that motivated and energized Samuel to raise a monument to God's help.
Jaded Lens is easily my most misinterpreted lyric. When I wrote the song, I had kind of been sitting with my wheels turning in a songwriter's rut, if you will. I had a nice little melody, but I couldn't seem to write a lyric worthy of being put with it. So I started looking for abstract inspiration, anything that I could use to turn out an intriguing lyric. Finally, the next day, I got my wish. I went to meet my family for lunch at a small bbq joint and while I was there, I was still mulling over what to write the song about. Well, apparently, it was visible that I was very deep in thought because the waitress asked me what was wrong ... several times (like Calvin from that movie "Waiting", haha). I kind of just kept shrugging her off, but then - at the end of the meal - she brought the ticket and said "y'all's drinks are on the house if I can just get this guy to smile" (don't get too excited, it was sweet tea and soda), so I apologized, saying "I'm sorry. I promise nothing's wrong. I'm really just deep in thought" ... so that's where the tired lens came from. It's not about being exhausted from looking for love or anything like that (somehow, despite how much punishment my heart endures, I never get tired of searching for that), it's just about growing tired of looking for inspiration to write a song. And the "shade of a growing change" line is just referring to my luck changing because that interaction was giving me some of the inspiration I was looking for ... Anyway, the exchange didn't end there. She went on to say "Well, I just wish you would smile and be happy because I feel like I should just be mean to you", to which I said "Now that might make me smile (and I smiled)". No sooner had the words fallen from my mouth that I regretted them because she didn't get that I was kidding, and her countenance quickly changed. So that's where the second verse came from: "this mouth might shipwreck on the glaciers ...". So, there you go. Hope you enjoy the song! Maybe one day I'll run into her again and get a chance to thank her for the inspiration.