You Are Not Too Old for Lullabies

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You are not too old for lullabies. But you may have forgotten how good they are for your soul.

C. S. Lewis believed a children’s story that could only be enjoyed by children is not actually a good children’s story at all. For proof of his success in defying such a trend, I can readily confirm that his heart-gripping Narnia series moved me more deeply as an adult than it ever did as a child.*

* See, for example, the time my college roommate walked out of her bedroom on a Saturday morning to find me in tears at our apartment’s kitchen table over the de-dragoning chapter in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Surely the same is true of lullabies—those mind-easing, spirit-softening, heart-assuring melodies that tuck us into love and peace—which means the best ones must be just as good (or better) for our adult souls too.

J. J. Heller explained that she wrote her lullaby albums to be songs that spoke just as deeply to adults as children so that parents could enjoy them too—even if (when?) their kids tirelessly requested that they be played over and over again…because honestly, has anyone over the age of three ever wanted to hear “If You’re Happy and You Know It” more than once? (And all the parents said, “Amen. Preach. Come, Lord Jesus.”)

I’m so thankful for these artists. I’m so thankful for their work. And I’m most thankful for the great Author of our faith moving them to pen lullabies for both his grownup children and their children too.

I’ve lifted my eyes once again to the hope of Heller’s “In the Morning” when the sun sets with a heaviness of uncertainties and disappointments, looking ahead to the promises of new mercies (Lamentations 3:22) and joy for sorrows (Psalm 30:5) as he satisfies us each morning with his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14).

We need lullabies. We need them to restore our childlike heart to childlike faith, reminding us that we are smaller and more dependent than we think—but also more deeply loved and perfectly taken care of than we can imagine.

Kaitlin Miller

I’ve fought for resilient joy in sorrow with the defiantly gentle battle cry of Christy Nockels’ “Pitter Patter Goes the Rain,” and have been captivated by the bedtime story fairy tale of “Always Remember to Never Forget”—which actually is no fairy tale at all, but our own divine love story of a “maiden so lovely and a Hero so true.”

I’ve set my morning alarm for Scripture Lullabies’ “Steadfast Love” to waken me into the day with a crescendo of gratitude and trust.

I’ve clung to the assurance of Audrey Assad’s “Little Light” that God is always near, even when the shadowy voices of empty spaces threaten a darker tune.

I’ve laid my head down under the banner of Ellie Holcomb’s “He Loves Us,” as the sign-off of one day and the starting point of the next.

And I’ve sat under the flood of a father’s love washing over me in Slugs & Bugs’ “Beautiful Girl,” overwhelmed by the unconditional steadfastness of a good father and our Good Father too.

We need lullabies.

We need them to repeat the sounding joy of the Lord our God singing over us (Zephaniah 3:17).

We need them to restore our childlike heart to childlike faith, reminding us that we are smaller and more dependent than we think—but also more deeply loved and perfectly taken care of than we can imagine.

We need them to lay us to rest, just as our Good Shepherd makes us (not just “allows us” or “advises us”) to lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2), ceasing from our striving, toils, and fears.

And we need them to assure us that the safety we felt in the protective embrace of those who have cared for us pales in comparison to the safety of being held in our Good Shepherd’s arms—tender enough to carry us close to his heart (Isaiah 40:11), but strong enough to defend us from any harm that would threaten us in the night.

The word “lullaby” comes from just what we would expect: being lulled into saying goodbye. And goodness, how we need this even more desperately as we grow—to be continually lulled by our Heavenly Father into saying goodbye to the temporary, visible shadows of this passing earth, always at rest in him with the sweet dreams of a new world and the sure hope that we will one day wake to find all those dreams come true.

We’ve made a playlist that includes all the lullabies mentioned in this post—click here to listen on Spotify and here to listen on Apple Music.


4 Comments

  1. Janice Scott

    Thank you for this article about lullabies! I so agree with you and appreciate this reminder.
    May I add to your playlist Michael Card’s two lullaby albums? They are timeless!
    I listened to them when I was pregnant with my daughter. As a baby she turned towards me when she heard my voice and toward the cd player when she heard Mike’s!
    These are still precious and special and TRUE today!

  2. Katie Jo

    @katiejo

    Thank you for this; I couldn’t agree more. I have been nearly submerged in floods of tears listening to Slugs & Bugs Lullabies myself. Sometimes all we need is to hear the simple truth in a sweet lullaby.

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