Written by: Laura Chambers (11/11/2016)
Faith doesn’t come easy in these troubled times. Every time you wake up, the news brings stories of political upheaval, civil unrest, criminal activity, natural disasters; it’s overwhelming enough without our own personal storms to weather. While the struggles within may not make the news, they certainly loom large in our eyes. Where do we turn for healing and restoration? Meleana affirms that the secret of survival is surrender to our Saviour. Her debut album White Walls steers us towards love and grace at every turn.
In “Live For You”, Meleana vows to commit herself to God throughout the course of her life. Living in love and gratitude has a way of rejuvenating our hearts and strengthening our souls. Any album that has you moving to the music by the first song is a good sign. “Surrender” dismantles the wall around a heart that has grown bitter and judgmental; surrendering to God’s love in the hopes that one can become tender and alive. By remaining isolated in our own self-absorbed worlds, we run the risk of becoming so cold and hard that we cannot hear the truth anymore. God is always willing to forgive us, even though we have no right to expect Him to. “White Walls” imagines our lives as an empty room aching to be filled with color and beauty created by God. We are holding a picture frame in our hands and asking Him to provide it. He has already done so much for us, seeing us as we are, to the center of our souls. Meleana revels in His love in this joyful song.
“Through The Storm” calls on God in a moment of desperate trial. Yet instead of succumbing to doubt, Meleana recognizes the source of her trouble (the devil, not mentioned by name but referenced via a Bible verse) and responds with praise and confidence. By faith, we can overcome difficulties, even if they’re fiercer than they’ve ever been. “Author” pictures Him as the author of our lives, capable of nothing less than perfection in His timing and creations. Meleana emotionally conveys her devotion and longing for God to fill her heart. “Why You Gotta Go Away” mourns the impending departure of someone dear, asking why it has to happen. Angst, fear, temptation and confusion all war for attention, but faith ultimately wins out. “Dear Mirror” rebels against our own self-critical natures in the form of a letter addressed to the mirror. It’s a fun song with a great message and memorable lyrics guaranteed to put a smile on your face (“Got enough makeup to paint the Red Sea.”) and defiance of critical voices in your heart.
“Word From You” prays for God to speak into fearful circumstances, bringing peace and understanding. He will never leave us in our hour of need. “Hideaway” is nostalgically romantic, recalling the seaside birthplace of a childhood puppy love that blossomed into something more enduring. A tropical flavour accompanies this achingly adorable love song that doesn’t want to ever grow too old for fantasies. “Hold On” offers encouragement to those who are weary and ready to give up on their dreams. We need to have the faith of a child, no matter how low the odds are that our wishes will come true. God has not abandoned us. I personally think it seems a little short and could have used a lyrical bridge to tie it together.
There are many ways we can respond to heartbreak; we can live in denial of the truth, bottle up our pain, or lash out at the other people in our life. These self-destructive choices will only perpetuate the cycle of pain. A far better option is to run towards God with our arms open and hearts bowed, trusting Him to uphold and heal us. White Walls continuously takes the straight path, the high road, secure in His keeping.