Wednesday, March 30, 2011


(My friend suggested that I should do a short post a day as a response to a song. This is my first.)

On Monday, I was trying to clean my house, honest I was, but my iPod went all crazy. I popped it into the speakers and put on a favorite playlist, Summer 2010. Everything started normally (Robert Randolph's "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With That") and then, weirdness. Instead of "Airstream Driver", this is what came next: 

Well, so much for cleaning house.

All the words in the world, all the essays I could write, none of that will cut through the noise and pour into the heart of a person like a song. Standing in my kitchen, Stevie Wonder's voice cut through my to-do list. Around the world, people have lost their homes, their towns, their children. What will be my response?

The earthquake in Haiti spurred this live performance, and as I think of that event, less than 15 months ago, I am troubled. Pile on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and I am broken. Natural disasters seem unnatural to me.

The opening of Stevie Wonder's performance makes me think of something else that seems unnatural: the -isms that keep us from loving other people. The way the world ought to be involves no more suffering, no more pain, every tear dried. This is the sort of world Jesus wants those who follow Him to represent in our time here.

That's a really awkward sentence. Here's what I'm trying to say: if you are a follower of Jesus, what are you doing today, not as an -ist or an -ism, but as an ambassador for the kingdom of heaven? I want to be better at loving people than I am at arguing. How can I do that?

I'm still working on it. How can I respond in a loving way to the people of Japan, the people of Haiti, the people in my town who've lost their jobs or homes? It's overwhelming, but I have a favorite GK Chesterton quote that applies:

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."

The song reminds me that when people are faced with loss, it is a time for love, the kind of love that lays itself down for another. Will I follow through on that?

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