« Home | Hi, I'm a PC. And I'm a Jackass! » | Attention crazy dems and liberals » | Changes afoot » | (I didn't study...) » | The most depressing song I've ever heard... » | Un-freaking-believable » | This is harder than I thought it would be... » | What I'll Remember Most... » | Road Trip! » | Don't Go Away! » 

08 May 2007 

Common to the Human Experience.

Some bands just connect with you, for whatever reason, the truth in their lyrics, perhaps the the life experiences you share with the songwriters, perhaps they've just found some thread common to everyone, or perhaps your particular niche. As more time goes by I feel this connection stronger and stronger with Caedmon's Call. They write about life, not about idealism, or only worship songs that don't take into account the utter brokeness of those singing them. They sing about doubt in faith, broken relationships, anxiety, pride, friendship, compromising your values, and pain in a way that people can relate to. Perhaps there's a bit of extreme coincidence for me as compared with many, but I feel the words to so many of their songs could have come from my lips at one point or another, and the sheer number of situations in which I find some connection with their lyrics leads me to believe that perhaps Derek Webb and I are of a kind, or that I'm just beginning to experience the pain and joy that are so central to all human experience.

That last thought is reassuring in a way. There's a line from another song by another band ("Child Don't Cry" by Over the Rhine) that goes

"And though we love to numb the pain
We come to learn that it's in vain
Pain is our mother
She makes us recognize each other"

which I think is an unfortunate but redemptive quality of living in a fallen and broken world, joy and love are common to the human experience, but are rare to share, and hard to understand across many boundaries (gender, religion, culture, etc.) but pain, loss, rejection and lonliness are things that everyone can understand, but the beautiful thing about them is that they can bring us together. Christ experienced these things on the cross for a reason, it was more than just a punishment for sin, which is was, but it was more, it was a consequence of sin, and it was an amazing act of reaching out, and experiencing the pain of sinful humanity which allows us to experience fellowship with a God who has experienced things common to all of us. We can recognize the Human deity of Christ for this reason, and we can find comfort in each other for the same reasons.

And though I've never met anyone from Caedmon's Call, nor the songwriters from Over the Rhine, I know I share something of hurt and love both in my heart that they have also. When we put up a facade, when we don't admit to our pain, when we hold it inside we block ourselves from others, "we love to numb the pain, but come to learn that it's in vain." Isn't it interesting that its at the fullest capacities of our hearts to experience something, be it joy or sorrow, pain or happiness, that we feel most in touch with one another, that we feel most in communion with God... Living in the past or dwelling on the future are just ways to numb the present, and keeps us from sharing life with others. Experience and live to the full, let yourself be angry, forgive, heal, cry, and have no fear of those things. Trust is so fundamental to learning to heal, but it doesn't come cheap or easy, but I'm thankful for a God who enables us able to trust after heartache.