Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Broken Stones

Paul Weller at Westonbirt
Way back in the late 1970s/early 80s, I was a teenage mod. I had the Sta-Press trousers, button-down shirts, and desert boots to prove it. Plus the obligatory fishtail parka.  When it came to music, my favourite group at that time was The Jam. How heartbroken we fans were when lead singer and songwriter Paul Weller announced in 1982 that he was splitting the band.

But for Weller the music didn't stop there. He went on to form the Style Council and then became a solo artist. Riding the crest of a Brtipop wave, his album Stanley Road (1995) was a massive hit. I was listening to it the other day on my car stereo. The track ‘Broken Stones’ especially grabbed my attention. Weller sees a metaphor for life in pebbles kicked around on a beach:

Like pebbles on a beach
Kicked around, displaced by feet
Oh, like broken stones
They're all trying to get home

Kelly Jones of Stereophonics recently joined Weller on stage to sing this song.  

The track’s vision of people as ‘lost and alone...trying to get home’ says something profound about the human condition. There is a deep restlessness in our souls, a feeling that we are somehow lost and far from home. That applies to successful musicians like Paul Weller, as well as the likes of you and me.

Now, the singer does not claim to be a Christian, but what he says chimes in with what the faith has to say about restless humanity. The early church leader Augustine prayed to God, ‘You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.’ In our sin we are far from God, ‘lost and alone’. But we can’t escape that longing for home.

The Lord Jesus said of himself, ‘the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost’. That is why Jesus came to die for our sins upon the cross and rise again from the dead. Through faith in him ‘broken stones’ are made whole and brought home to the Father. 

Kelly Jones joins Weller to sing Broken Stones 

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