A critical spirit obscures God’s truth.
I have a pet peeve regarding contemporary Christian music. I intensely dislike being yelled at, and I find it irritating when hearing one ‘artist’ pretty much lets you know what the majority of the others will sound and act like as well.
I love good jazz. Always have. Any jazz aficionados know–jazz can get loud, and if it’s good, even great, bring your groove. Lay down that funk and I’ll be right there with you. This is no gripe about mere volume.
It’s the way it is done. And therein lies this morning’s confession: I greatly am distracted from the message of a real good lyric when the ‘artist’ forms his or her words in the currently popular way instead of making them audibly legible to me, the listener.
I woke up this morning with the lyric, “Let them see You in me. . .” It’s an exerpt from a popular Christian song getting a lot of airplay right now. The message is powerful. It’s one I embrace, too. But. . .
Ever notice the instant negative value of the word, ‘But’?
BUT. . . I am always distracted because of the way the singer forms the words, ‘you’ and ‘me’. Oh, it doesn’t happen the first time he sings what we’d consider the chorus or refrain: “Let them see You—in me. . .” The words are clear and the message right on the mark. But. . . BUT the next time he increases his volume and begins saying, YUHoo and MAYee. From then on, I mentally check out, wishing they’d just get on with the song, even fast-forward to another one.
Critical I am. Mmph. Explanation you require.
Notice how my criticality trumps the message? I can get instantly heated up over the way the singer does this or that and totally blank out the power and sweep of what he’s singing:
“Let them see You–in me. . .”
Who’s ‘them’? Anybody with whom I come into contact today. Personally, online, by phone–anybody whose path mine crosses today. Anybody. “Let THEM see You in me. . .” Anybody. Not just those I’m conscious are watching or listening. Not just those I prefer to be around. Anybody. Like the homeless woman with straggly hair, haggard features and very poor (and few) teeth, who came up to me yesterday, admiring the Mustang and asking me about it. Her smile was hideous–but it was real, and she offered it and a friendly voice to me. She’s an ‘anybody’.
Who’s ‘You’? Jesus, the Christ. The risen Lord I say I serve. The one I claim is my Master and the One before whom I’ll one day stand accountable. I don’t want that occasion to be marred by even one encounter here for which I’ve not done my best to make amends if I handled it poorly. I don’t mind standing beside this One who gave His own life for mine, watching together a panorama of my life’s work and worth. Imagine watching a movie of your life with Jesus Himself doing the color commentary. . . He’s the ‘You’ I want ‘them’ to see.
Who’s ‘me’? The Dan I am inside where God knows me as I really am. The one I am when alone. When nobody else is around, or when everybody else is around–which can at times feel like the same thing. ‘Me’ is the man God knows me to be. That’s the one in whom I want ‘them’ to see ‘Him’.
And to think I almost let my gripey, critical harping miss the power of that message – and my soul’s response. Seems to me one place ‘they’ need to see ‘You’ in ‘me’, Lord, is in my willingness to soften my critical, biting, rigid edges–and reach out to ‘them’ at the point of their need.
“Let them see You–in me. . .” Yeah. Really.
© D. Dean Boone, June 2014