I don’t know why my favourite Vietnamese song (even though, trust me, I know no Vietnamese) is Hoàng Dương’s ‘Hướng về Hà Nội’ (‘Toward Hanoi’; translation here). But it is.
I think it has something to do with Hebrews: These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. […] But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
‘One day, when flowers and leaves became tattered,
My gaze fixated on those distant shores.’
The Garden’s dream was shattered, and we longed for a distant country to come to us, our gaze fixated on its shores. We longed for war to end, for that Hanoi in our hearts to come back to life.
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’