I most definitely had slight uneasiness when wondering whether or not to post this cover. The title in and of itself seems to lend at hopelessness, seems to allude to one man's failing faith.
But what I find so beautiful about this song, this album, and Sufjan himself is that he bares himself in fullness; he is honest, raw, and unapologetically emotional. This song is the story of deep struggle, delivering what it means to be so broken by loss and by death itself, about a man turning towards anything to help him bear the weight of grief. He turns towards the world and seeks solace within it. And I respect this honesty so much; nothing here is sugarcoated. Life is anything but easy, and faith as well does not come with ease.
Perhaps for Sufjan, he has found no comfort in this "shadow of the cross." But perhaps, instead, with this lack of covering and comfort, there is an exposure to the rawness of pain, and the reality of death. It is within these times of deep turmoil that we discover, and choose what our faith will consist of. It is here, where we can become refined, and turned into "pure gold."