Encouraging memes can fall flat when you’re in the middle of a firestorm. My experience is that problems or stressors rarely come alone. I’m dealing with X, but Q is spilling over, and my heart is breaking about T (and D through K).. I’m not sure I’m going to make it about P….
Did you ever visit a church and something rubbed your heart wrong? Or maybe you experienced something from someone identifying as a Christian–maybe it was gossip, deceit, or some form of oppression, or maybe flat-out hate, or abuse? Worst of all, it may have been done with the support of bible texts.
If you thought: This cant be God—and if it is I want nothing to do with *Him– you may have been right. Maybe it was People, not God.
[This post may be best experienced with speakers hooked up.]
Can we only experience God in a Cathedral or Sunday service? Do we need silence or meditation? If we’re searching with our hearts we might find *Him anywhere, but one powerful place is Music.
Now, I want to tell you a secret. When I’m waiting at the bike light you’ll find me tapping beats on my brakes. Sure, it’s a normal sight, but you probably don’t imagine I’m exploding internally. Amidst the peace and silence “outside”, there’s rowdy beats and wild noise inside me.
I’m a bit bible nerdy and instead of skipping over peculiar texts, I sometimes dwell on them. It’s a quirk I’m trying to appropriate so here’s my take on a text you probably never heard preached in church: The fourteenth day.
It appeared during Moses’ instructions to Israel before the 10th and final, most gut-wrenching plague. Every first born was to be killed and this plague sparked the Exodus from Egypt.
How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic. I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:
Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?
And Music also heals Socially…
Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.
The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…
God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures(based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…
In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.
But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:
You know the story of the guest pastor who visited a church in shabby attire, unshaven and maybe even unshowered? Churchgoers sidestepped him and certainly didn’t seat him at the front, so imagine their surprise/shame when he got up to give the sermon.
It’s a good example of the authenticity of our Love, and while Love shouldn’t be swayed by sight, any flesh and blood wrapped in labels like “Refugee” -“Homeless” -“Foreigner” -“Moocher” -“Homosexual” -“Annoying Friend,” will test our hearts.
The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?
Bieber had it right:
“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)
Whether you’re a Christian or a Christian from the “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 3:9), don’t worry: there’s love here. Sorry to be blunt but with so many “Christians” holding bibles and speaking/doing hate, people need clarity. Luckily Love is the litmus test (1 Cor 13) and “a tree is known by its fruit” (Luke 6:44).
If your fruits are primarily outward like church attendance, wearing crosses, even big Bible knowledge, look out! It’s possible to be crazy about God, the Bible, and still miss His Heart–I’ve been there. Christians can even make God an idol (been there, Ouch).