Track 8 – Nothing Is Wasted


To me, this song represents an important idea during this season of my life.  It’s something I’ve been trying to say ever since I read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim At Tinker Creek where she wrote that nature’s is “a spendthrift economy; though nothing is lost, all is spent.”

When I first read that, I felt like it gave my life back to me. It was an assurance that the worst we’ve known, experienced, and even given out is, at the very least, not wasted. I suppose it’s a furthering of the idea that everything sad may yet come untrue. It’s the hope that loss does not have the final say. Love will have the last word. As we continually bring to the Lord the worst that would otherwise turn our hearts to stone, he is able to mercifully reshape it into something redemptive, useful, maybe even beautiful.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite Frederick Buechner quotes:

“But the worst isn’t the last thing about the world. It’s the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It’s the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well.”
— Frederick Buechner, The Final Beast

Jason Ingram helped me write this song, and later Doug McKelvey joined in to help me with a particularly stubborn section of lyric.  Jason was passionate about the vision for the song and wanted to give it the best chance of finding the biggest audience, so we wrote an anthemic kind of bridge that would lend itself to a congregational kind of moment.

Though I love the way it turned out, a part of me missed the more singer/songwriter styled bridge we originally wrote, and so I was grateful to get to record an alternate solo piano version to be included in the Special Edition.  Both are featured here for you to listen to, I hope you enjoy them both.


Nothing Is Wasted
(Jason Gray / Jason Ingram / Doug McKelvey)

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine


A Way To See In The Dark available on iTunes, and the Rabbit Room Store

Jason Gray is a recording artist with Centricity Records. His latest single, out now, is "When I Say Yes".