OK, so I saw the elimination deal on “American Idol” the other night. You know, the one with Carrie Underwood singing the new song with the crazy-weird wind tunnel effects. Not impressed — but I admit, I don’t watch “Idol” very carefully, usually doing something else and listening on a lousy sound system.
BUT, then I heard the song and listened to the words more carefully on headphones. Wow! Deeply moving, and it reminds me of the line in “Forest Gump” when Jenny has thrown rocks at the old house where she had been abused as she grew up and Forest said, “Sometimes, I guess, there just aren’t enough rocks.”
Eventually, Forest bulldozes down the house so all those memories can be bulldozed away.
“Blown Away” is a song that’s really a prayer by a daughter who has been abused by her drunken “father” — her mother is “an angel in the ground.” She’s praying that a tornado that’s coming on the storm will blow away the old sin-filled full-of-bad-whiskeyed-memories in that house, along with her dad asleep in a drunken stupor on the couch. The haunting lines that stick with me are these:
There’s not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house.
There’s not enough wind in Oklahoma to lift the nails out of the past.
I contrast this to an old Amy Grant song, “If These Walls Could Speak.”
Such a difference, and all built on how we’ve experienced family and home so often tied to a place — a house, an apartment, a neighborhood, or a city.
So what are we doing to redeem this mess of a broken world? What am I doing to ensure that hurts of those bad houses are blown away and the blessings the latter help the walls of grace to speak of God’s love?
How is church, how are we personally and collectively, going to be more than buildings and programs and performances, and more a place for healing, redemption, and restored family?
You and me, well let’s be honest, we can’t change a lot, but we can redeem something … someone … kids and families, close and faraway. And isn’t that what’s all about? And if we join together, can’t the Holy Spirit do a whole lot to change a whole lot more than we can ask or imagine?
So here, God, take the rest of what my life has to offer and please use it to make a difference … to my own precious kids … to my foster grandchildren … to precious “daughters” in Asia … to Peruvian orphans … to Compassion kids … and more. Please make your House, your Family, your People, and me, places and people of blessing, healing, comfort, and hope so hurts can be blown away and grace can speak more clearly into the hearts of the broken, alone, and lost. I ask this humbly in the healing name of Jesus. Amen.