Man on the Beach

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‘Man on the Beach’ is probably the most unusual song on my album. It’s actually a story, one that can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

When I first began writing songs, I had some of them reviewed by music industry experts and the feedback I received was quite negative. I felt completely and utterly deflated but I knew that God had called me to do something with music. In actual fact, when I left school I really wanted to pursue a career in dance. I was a ballet, tap, modern and jazz dancer (my last exam I got honours with distinction) so I had dreams of opening up my own dance company and travelling around the world putting on Christian productions. I wanted to go to the YWAM School of Dance in Hawaii, but I got as far as the Discipleship Training School in Worcester, Cape Town (which is literally in the middle of nowhere). And just before I attended YWAM, I studied worship and writing songs at Psalmody Academy for 3 months. I didn’t think much of it because I was so focussed on dance. So anyway, at the end of YWAM I received a prophetic word that I was to attend Bible College. It was not my plan (honestly, I went because my sister wanted to go) but during that year, I knew that dance was not it. There is a scripture that says that a man plans his way but God directs his steps. Well, my steps were being directed elsewhere.

As I began writing songs and getting this awful feedback, it was either sink or swim… I wasn’t going to sink so I thought that the best way to improve was to search out some resources that would help me. I found this wonderful book on writing lyrics. I penned my song Take This Time, which I entered into the Gospel Music Association’s annual song writing competition. I entered under 5 states as an international songwriter and they chose 8 finalists. You had to win that semi final in order to get into the final. So I flew all the way to the States (Atlanta Georgia to be specific), performed my song, everyone raved and I came second. Gutted is not even a word. I left America with a hole in my heart, came back to the UK and threw myself into working as a graphic designer in my dad’s church and got more involved in the worship team. While my design skills improved, so did my song writing. I went back to that lyric writing book and one of the challenges was to write a song where the last line gave away the rest of the story. So then I had a vision of this man walking on the beach and me starring at him. I won’t divulge too much because you have to listen to it to interpret it the way that is best for you.

Since my album release, people have asked me to explain what ‘Man on the Beach’ means for me. Well, all I can say is that for many years I thought I was alone. I thought I was seeing God from a distance and sadly, I thought He was completely disinterested in me. But I have come to realise that those are all lies and although He seemed to be far away, He was always there. He is the God who sees everything and He saw me.    

Article originally published by A Step Forward.

Loulita GillComment