Music and Theology, Part 3

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Every night, as I tuck my daughter into bed, she asks me, "Daddy, can we pray?" Sometimes I just listen to her as she prays for our three sponsored kids, calling each by name, prays for everyone in the world who is sad, prays for everyone who is a refugee. She then prays for an end to war, an end to sickness, and an end to racism. 

The first time she did this I was taken aback, expecting her to pray for some "little kid" problems. But this is what is on her heart, and she prays for these things each night anew, with the unrelenting confidence that only a little child can muster.

In a recent TedX Talk, Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot, said, "When we were children this melody came so easy and effortlessly. It was not without its imperfections, but it was pure and it was honest, and it came freely... 

Then life happens and layers press down. Layers of guilt and shame, and your own feelings of inadequacy. Then you read the headlines of war and divorce and murder and rape and racism, and you begin to wonder whether this fragile little melody you've been given can ever make a dent."

That's exactly how I feel as I listen to my daughter pray. 

It's times like this that I know I need to just hold on. Despite how helpless I feel. Faith here is not about confidence, it's about being brave in the face of my own inadequacy, in the face of the dissonance and tension. 

We humans were made in a way that we can recognize all that is wrong and broken about our world and ourselves. The older I get, the more I see that brokenness. That makes us different from any other animal. We grieve. We doubt.

Yet, at the same time, we humans sing. There's something in us that needs to sing out. Not despite the pain, but often out of it, through it, we sing the most beautiful melodies.

Go back and READ PART 2
Go forward and READ PART 4

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