Listen and Hear

Listen and Hear
A few years ago, I was driving through town on my way to House of Manna to work at my internship there. I have this terribly bad habit of listening to music far too loud in my car, like probably going to do lasting damage to my ear drums loud. I like to feel the kick drum, not just hear it.

On this particular day, I had gone back to hear one of my favorite albums from one of my favorite bands when I was in high school. If a little rock and roll won’t hurt you, take a listen to this:

For those who couldn’t quite understand what was being said at the crescendo, here are the lyrics:

I have been scarred so deep by life and cold despair,
and brittle bones were broken far beyond repair.
I have leveled lies so deep, the truth may never find.
And inside my faithless heart, I stole things never mine.

If mercy falls upon the broken and the poor,
Dear Father, I will see you, there on distant shores.

I have toiled for countless years and ever felt the cost,
and I've been burned by this world's cold,
like leaves beneath the frost.
On my knees I've crawled to You, bleeding myself dry.
But the price of life is more, than I could ever buy.

And off of the blocks,
I was headstrong and proud,
at the front of the line for the card-carrying, highbrowed.
With both eyes fastened tight,
yet unscarred from the fight.
Running at full tilt, my sword pulled from its hilt.
It's funny how these things can slip away,
our frail deeds, the last will wave good-bye.
It's funny how the hope will bleed away,
the citadels we build and fortify. Good-Bye.

Night came and I broke my stride,
I swallowed hard, but never cried.
When grace was easy to forget,
I'd denounce the hypocrites,
casting first stones, killing my own.
You would unscale my blind eyes,
and I stood battered, but more wise,
fighting to accelerate,
shaking free from crippling weight.
With resilience unsurpassed,
I clawed my way to You at last.
And on my knees, I wept at Your feet,
I finally believed, that You still loved me.

Healing hands of God have mercy on our unclean souls once again.
Jesus Christ, Light of the World,
burning bright within our hearts forever.
Freedom means love without condition,
without beginning or an end.
Here's my heart, let it be forever Yours,
only You can make every new day seem so new.

Something about this particular afternoon, sitting in my car, listening to this anthem at audible levels humans should not be able to sustain, broke me. At a red light in Homewood, I was weeping at the sheer beauty of Jesus Christ, and all that he had done for me. For us. When I looked up there were a few vehicles on either side of me, their drivers and passengers questioning my sanity.

Music has a unique opportunity to connect us with who God is. Think about it: we get together every Sunday…to sing. Do you in any other social situation gather with your closest friends to just sing songs? Probably not. But something about it makes sense when it comes to God. Something about music connects us with the creator in new and interesting ways.

Now, there is a lot of Christian music out there in the world, and not all of it is good. Not all of it is remarkable artistic expressions of the goodness of God. But there are, I promise, incredible artists making incredible music in just about every genre imaginable. What’s incredible is that a lot of them lead worship and even offer performances right here at Westminster. The point is, music is a great way to carry the awareness of what God is doing in your life. Take some time today to just sit back, relax, and listen to something that inspires you.

Though maybe not while you’re operating heavy machinery…

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