You may look at the four suggestions above for finding inspiration and say, “Well, great job, Tillman. You give us four suggestions, and the first two of them are negative. Well, the first one is really negative, the second is just kind of unsettling, and only the third is positive. Do you want to inspire us to be depressed? Is that what you’re after?”
My answer is that God has designed the world, and designed humans, in such a way that even if bad things happen, those bad things can be redeemed. What I mean is this: we can see the bad things, and feel bad about them, but we can also take the bad things as an occasion for doing something good.
God has designed our world, and designed us, in such a way that we can create poetry in response to negative emotions and experiences. We can redeem the negative things by using them as occasions for writing lyrics, writing music, writing stories, painting pictures, and so on.
That’s not why the bad things happen. I don’t think God makes bad things happen. But I do think that God was smart enough to see that if bad things happen, it would be good for humans to have the ability to respond to those bad things by doing good, creative, artistic, and beautiful things.
So, when I say that you can use the negative things that have happened to you for inspiration for writing lyrics, what I am saying is this: you can help to redeem those things by taking them as an occasion for creating good art. In filling the world with more lyrics, with more poetry, with more art, we are helping to make the world more like God intends for it to be.
Therefore, I think we need to be able to write lyrics not only about the good things in life, but also about the bad things. In doing so, we will help good to triumph over evil.