Mumford & Sons: Below My Feet

I have all-time favorites when it comes to Mumford & Sons:  “Hopeless Wanderer,” “White Blank Page,” and “After the Storm.”  But there’s one song in particular that I always forget about, and when I hear it I always say, “Oh YEAH, I love this!”

“Below My Feet” is a catchy enough song.  When the chaos drops out at 3:35 and the chorus grows in intensity, I have never yet been able to keep myself from punching my steering wheel in time to the beat.  But what I really love are the lyrics. 

And I was still
I was under your spell
When I was told by Jesus all was well
So all must be well

Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”  This is one of my favorite quotes, and I love that Mumford alludes to it.  What tips this into something amazing is the way he sings it; every time I listen to the last line, “So all must be well,” I hear it differently.  Sometimes it sounds resolute, sometimes disbelieving.  Most of the time it’s somewhere in between, encompassing an awareness of God’s plan for good with an awareness of how little it seems to be happening.  This is exactly the kind of spiritual that resonates with me.  The truth is known and clung to, but it is not easy.

Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

I love the line, “For all my sweat, my blood runs weak,” but it’s the repetitive ending that always catches me off guard.  Eyes to serve?  Hands to learn?  It seems almost backward.  I usually think of my hands, particularly, as serving.  What does it mean for my hands to learn?

When I was in high school, I learned how to roof a house.  I pulled up nails, scratched my skin with rough shingles, got tar underneath my nails.  With every painful lift, drag, and throw, my hands learned how to build.

The first time I held a baby, I felt helpless.  My hands were clumsy and dangerous.  But I cradled and shifted, knew when to rock him and when to pull him close.  My hands learned how to hold a vulnerable human being.

Hard or soft, aggressive or nurturing, my hands have learned.  Life is a process, and our blood runs weak despite the sweat of our service.  But with all of this we know–all will be well.

I purposefully didn’t address the phrase “eyes to serve,” because I don’t quite have an opinion on what that means.  If you have an idea, leave a comment and let me know!

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2 comments

  1. I think of eyes seeing the person struggling to put groceries in the car, and stopping to help. Seeing the sad look on a friends face, and taking the time to listen.

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    • Ooo, interesting idea! That makes sense. Kind of like “serve” is a lens through which we look, taking note of people and situations that could use our help.

      Like

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