Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Facsimile SQOTW

I'm jealous of my brother because he's going to see Bill Mallonee at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia tonight at 8 p.m. All of which has not much to do with this week's song quote, almost surely a number Bill will not play tonight. Here's the chorus:

'cause love is just a plea
deepest point of need
we take a reasonable facsimile
most of the time

and here's a part of the verse that's key:

faith pins her corsage
on easter morning's new Mercy
we know the terrain well
but You kicked down the gates of hell
prison cell's opened
threw away the key

-- Facsimile, Vigilantes of Love from the Slow Dark Train CD

The chorus in this song, and the song itself, laments all the substitutes we make and accept for what is true love. All those different "things" we'll try so that we can fill that gaping hole inside ourselves that needs to be quenched to make life worth the living. Really, we'll use anything as a love facsimile. Which is a shame, because at our "deepest point of need" love is the only thing that will work.

A husband or wife doesn't feel enough love at home, they seek it from someone outside. Kids leave their parent's home for college or a new home of their own, feel lonely, and shack up with some other lonely soul. A child lives in a loveless household and turns to his friends or gangs or drugs or video games or music or anything else that can keep his or her mind from missing what he or she needs most. People seek to replace it with recognition, achievement, and power. Or pornography. Or a bar and a whiskey bottle. We'll go to movies to try and see it or something like it. Listen to songs to hear of it or something like it. Read books to find it or something like it. Heck, a lot of American culture is centered around the idol we think it is.

Or it doesn't have to be bad. It can be work. Studies. Athletics. Art. Travel. Anything that we do where we look for something that might replace that longing in our heart with something else grand. Unfortunately, everything else fails. It all "slips right through our hands." Human beings need love. It's that simple. We were created with that need. We'll take all kinds of other things to try to replace it, to fulfill ourselves, but nothing changes the need.

Even in all the rottenness of our lives, believers have hope. We've glimpsed love, and more than that, we're commanded to do it. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love your enemies. God tells us under no uncertain terms, give others what they need most. How else are they going to see God in this world? As followers of Christ and the People of God, we do pin our hope to Easter morning and to everything that means. We go on knowing Christ triumphed and God loves us.

But there's a world that needs that love. And instead of us accepting all the facsimiles, which we as Christians do much of the time, we really need to concentrate... in our homes, in our churches, in our careers/jobs, in our leisure, in all of our TIME... to love - God and others. It's what we need, and just as importantly, it's what they need.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make myself listen to Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle about ten times because last night my son asked me the same question about four times, and I put him off without ever answering it. Afterwards, I kissed him goodnight and told him I loved him. But I didn't love him, then, did I?

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