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Monday, June 2, 2014

He Loves Us...but I Really Dislike That Song

Seldom do I get on my soap box these days.  But hey, it's my blog, so here goes...

I really, really, really dislike the song How He Loves.  Really.  And every church we visit or attend seems to love it.  Maybe I'm missing something.  I don't want to dis John Mark McMillan (the guy who wrote the song)...I don't know him at all, and somewhere he's got a proud mamma who might go all mamma bear on me for not liking her son's song, but seriously...have you looked at the lyrics?

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane,
I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

Okay, stop...Have you ever been IN a hurricane?  They are destructive.  Like wipe entire cities off the map destructive.  Just think about New Orleans and how they are STILL recovering.  And you think that's the best representation of God's love?  Now, I'm not saying God can't use hurricanes or any weather element or plague or sickness or whatever as a way of drawing people closer to Him and of chastening them, and the Bible does say that those whom God loves He chastens.  But that's not really the agape, self sacrificing sort of love the song is trying to convey, is it?  He is jealous for us, to be sure, and He will chasten us to bring us back to Him, but His love is SOOOO much fuller than the storm, and we are much more than trees dancing to the whim of the wind.  I just cringe at the imagery every time I sing the song.

Then there's this verse:

And heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

He loves us, oh, how He loves us,
oh how He loves us,
how He loves us all

I'm thankful the songwriter allowed the David Crowder Band to change the lyrics to
"And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss", but I still dislike it because SO many people insist on the sloppy wet thing.  Here's what the songwriter had to say on his blog,
The idea behind the lyric is that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth converge in a way that is both beautiful and awkwardly messy. Think about the birth of a child, or even the death of Jesus himself. These miracles are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sloppy ("gory" may be more realistic, but “Heaven meets earth like a gory mess” didn’t seem to have the same ring). Why does the church have such a problem with things being sloppy? Do we really think we’re fooling anyone on Sunday morning, especially God? Are we going to offend him? I mean, he’s seen us naked in the shower all week and knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we’re awesome.What if we took all the energy we spent faking and used that energy to enjoy the Lord instead? That could be revolutionary!

But God is a God of order, and there is nothing about Him that makes me think "sloppy wet kiss".  Maybe I'm a prude.  I probably am.  But associating God with sloppy wet kisses seems so out-of-character.  I don't at all think it's sloppy when heaven meets earth.  God created the earth, and everything in it.  He was intimately involved with His creation before the fall.  He WALKED in the garden of Eden.  He as still involved after the fall.  He dwelt in the tabernacle and the temple.  He became man and lived among us.  HOW could heaven and earth meeting be awkward or messy?  I just don't get it.

I'm sure we all have "that song".  The one that instead of bringing you to the throne room of heaven makes your skin crawl.  This is that song for me.  And it's made even worse by having watched this video, which makes my skin crawl even more:

So there you have it.  My personal beef with a worship song that makes me want to do anything but worship.  I don't know why I'm sharing this here, except to say I'm thankful for ALL DIFFERENT types of music to worship our God.  He is amazingly creative, and so it stands to reason His creation would be also.  What draws my son nearer to God musically is very different from what draws me to Him.  And so probably there are a gazillion people out there who love this song and think I'm crazy.  That's okay.  And I'll still be singing it in church.  My old worship band knew how I felt, and I got gently ribbed each time we sang it, but I know it spoke to them (young whippersnappers- I was as old as most of their mothers, LOL).  We sang it last night (the unforeseen kiss version, thankfully) at our new church.  I won't be escaping it anytime soon.  I know God knows my heart and loves me, hurricanes and sloppy wet kisses and all.

Am I alone?  Is there a worship song that just doesn't resonate with you?


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