Taking a day to go completely off topic. (If ever there was a real topic.) Anyway, there are no good holidays this week. It seems perhaps everyone was too busy enjoying spring to come up with creative holidays at the end of March. (But if you care, today is Lemon Chiffon Cake Day. Go for it.)
Last night, I took the girls (or they took me) to a concert. I haven't been to a concert in two years since I got in free to Jars of Clay because I sold their stuff as a 4H volunteer. (In their defense, I definitely would have paid if I had had to. I really wanted to see it. Being a good 4H mom pays off sometimes.)
In the middle of one of the songs, as the band encouraged us to all sing along, I had a revelation. Here were hundreds of people singing, loudly and energetically, these words: "I'm not all right." And it occurred to me--in how many places would you find this huge group of people admitting this, joyfully, without feeling any need of artificial stimulus to accept the fact that it is true? The opening band even put it one step further:
"Hey, hey, hey, I was always one of the losers
Hey, hey, hey, don't you think that Jesus loves us?
This gospel sounds like good news to all of us losers."
Remembering back to the "power songs" of my youth, I wonder about some of them. "I am woman, hear me roar." Great sentiment, but I wonder how many teenage girls listened and thought, "Roar? I can barely manage a meow right now." Or how many now, like someone very dear to me, think, "Roar? Some mornings I'm so depressed I can barely drag my body out of bed to face the day." What I really, really needed to hear as a teenager was someone sing what they did last night, "I'm not all right; I'm broken inside." Because it was true, and I knew it.
So I guess I should not be surprised that part of the concert going experience for so many includes enough mood-altering substances to make a heifer almost literally jump over the moon. Trying to pretend there's nothing wrong can take a lot of effort and outside help.
That was the revelation for me last night. Here was one arena where the masks could come off and the defenses come down. And it obviously felt very, very good to a lot of people.
"If weakness is a wound that no one wants to speak of
Then "cool" is just how far we have to fall
I am not immune, I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall
Can I lose my need impress?
If you want the truth I need to confess
I'm not alright, I'm broken inside
And all I go through, it leads me to you."
Thirty years ago as that teenage girl, I finally admitted I was not all right. And it was a very good thing for me that "Jesus has a thing for losers."
*Lyrics written by: Mark Graalman,Matthew Hammitt, Chris Rohman, Chris Stevens, Dan Gartley,Douglas Mckelvey, (Sanctus Real) and Me in Motion