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Healing at a Rock Show

March 28, 2012

Music moves me.  It is a direct line to my heart, my emotions, and the deepest part of my soul.

This rose to a whole new level on Saturday night when I experienced Gungor at Northwestern College.

The show, like their new record, was partitioned into movements, journeying through four stages: Creation, The Fall, The Bride, and (re)Creation.  It started in total darkness with the tune “Let There Be,” a beautiful, minimalist song that slowly builds to the rumbling moment of creation, complete with blinding lights and loud melodies.

From there they propelled forward, bringing us along for the ride.  At specific intervals the lights would go down, and a spotlight would reveal Amena Brown, the incredible spoken word poet whose words brought form to the musical movements.  It was Amena who brought me to a place of great healing that night.

You see, the Lord has been challenging me a lot with the concept of the bride of Christ, and my position therein.  I’m a man, and I self-identify as the pursuer.  In romantic relationships I am the one who initiates, seeks, pursues.  But as a Christian, I am the one being pursued.  Christ is the bridegroom who desires me, pursues me, woos me, longs for me, and sacrifices for me.  As a guy, my mind has a difficult time wrapping itself around this concept and accepting it as truth.

I wish I could find the words somewhere, but the poem Amena shared during the stage titled “The Bride” struck me.  The imagery she used was less about a bridegroom pursuing his bride, and more about a broken, hurting person being pursued by a healer.  This hit my heart, and began to bring the pursued/pursuer concept into focus.  It is less about a romantic relationship, and more about a loving God seeing the immense beauty and worth of a tattered, broken person.  The romantic imagery we usually ascribe to this idea certainly has its place and cannot be denied, but the door to the beauty of this truth, for me, lies more in the idea of being accepted despite my immense shame, guilt, brokenness, and sinfulness.  Simply put, the pursuer pursues me because of who I am, not what I have done.

This inner-healing continued as the band began to play their song “Ezekiel,” my favorite off their new record, precisely because its expression of this longing.

I found you naked
I found you lying there in blood
Your mother left you
Your father threw you out unloved

I clothed your body
I washed the blood and earth from your hair
I gave you jewelry
I gave you everything I had

I gave my heart
My heart, my love
I gave my heart
My heart, my love

You became mine
You were a stunning bride
The world they saw you and how you loved their eyes my bride

You broke my heart
My heart, my love
You broke my heart
My heart, my love

You sold your body exposed yourself to all my love
You slept with strangers; you gave them everything we had

Come back my love
My love come back
Come back my love
My love come back

 

I was overwhelmed.  In tears.  Tears both of joy, and an overflowing of the longing I have to be valued, wanted, treasured, and loved.  I didn’t realize it until that moment, and it’s not easy for me to admit, but I long to be pursued.  I long to be accepted as Christ’s beloved.  What’s worse, I turn to counterfeit sources to find this acceptance.  A girlfriend.  Food.  Marriage.  But these are broken cisterns.  Sure, they’re all good things, but they are not the source.  They do not hold living water.  Only the bridegroom offers that.

Of course, this journey is far from its end.  No, it will not end until the moment I stand before my King, the moment when my brokenness will be turned to glory, and He establishes me in His Kingdom.  Until then, I stand in the midst of the longing, sometimes joyful, others confused, always feeling the subtle ache of a longing unfulfilled.

But, as a close friend of mine once said, “There is beauty in the breaking.”  Beauty is found in our ultimate healing, one day, into eternity.

 

Here are a few morsels from the show on Saturday night.  If you haven’t picked up their records yet, make it happen.

 

 

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2012 1:24 pm

    I envy you for being able to see them. You were true in saying you experienced them. I can only imagine how much farther it goes that just going to a concert into the realm of experience. Great thoughts!

  2. Sara Lightbody permalink
    March 28, 2012 2:04 pm

    I’m glad I brought my iPhone to the 4th row. 😉

    Beautiful post. Powerful evening for sure, and Amena definitely brought it home!

  3. March 29, 2012 6:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing this word, brotha. I got to see this show about three weeks ago in San Diego, and the beauty still gets me excited just to talk about. I wrote a bit about it on my wordpress home too, if you’re in to sharing stories and such 🙂

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