As I’ve traveled through the journey of Lent, I’ve bared one thing in mind, “sacred.” The hunger for what is preserved, what is untapped and what is connected with God in a deep and meaningful way. This has always been at the forefront of my relationship with God, as I’ve grown an intolerance to what I call the “dish towel” gospel. God is not simplistic enough to live simply on dish towels and serving plates, He’s in the threads and the materials of those things.This has been my experience in understanding my walk with God as the surface seems to give way to a deeper, richer and more meaningful soil. The words behind the words.
As a child of the 90’s, I fell in love with grunge bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. The lyrics were full of a meaning deeper than a catchy tune, went inside of the depth of your thoughts, made you think about the teetering line between life and death. It preserved the sacredness of misery of lives that were undone, but it was missing one thing- it offered no solution. It simply sang of the pits of hell that existed in this world, in our hearts. The darkness was at least for me a familiar pain, and the melody provided both a medicinal serum for me as well as a pathway to a deeper destruction. Those of us that identified with the music were lost in its truth, the world is a cruel place, life is difficult, I need to fill my pain. Unfortunately for most of us as unaware teenagers, we did this through things that were not good for us. And the misery was continually propelled by the fuel of the lyrics. That was until for me, Kurt Cobain committed suicide. With the end of Nirvana came the beginning of reality, there may have been beauty in pain, but I would never see it unless I kept walking…
And this idea of sacredness and the sanctity of life has stayed with me. People want to feel, sometimes… anything. They want to be connected in a deep and meaningful way and not just superficially. They want to hold hands, they want their tears to find a place to fall, they want a real, warm body who looks at them and tells them they matter. Religion is not the root of this desire to be loved, God is.
As I listened to the lyrics of the Dave Matthew ‘s song Gravedigger, I realized the gravity of our need for each other.
Gravedigger, when you dig my grave
Make it shallow,
So I can feel the rain
It’s a dichotomy of wanting to feel, still holding on, missing a connection, not wanting to go. Reaching out from beyond the grave to feel the simplicity of God’s adorned raindrops on our foreheads. The need for God’s one last touch…
I realized that I have spent my whole life trying to “feel,” and knowing that sometimes for me, I would never get there. It was the wanting of a human touch, but the pushing away of God’s extended hand. Wanting so much to be content with what was, but knowing I would be pervasive in my quest to “feel” that much more. Wanting to hurt in order that I could “feel” anything, because feeling something even if it was bad, was better than not feeling at all…Passing up at times God’s extended hand.
I have realized in this very short beginning of my journey that sacredness is found in connection to God, through people, who become His messengers to a dying and hurting world. We spend our lives looking for God, when many times He is right in front of us, hurt and bleeding. Will you pick up the dying Jesus today? The bloody Jesus? The dirty Jesus? The one we all pretend not to see… Human connection is found there, as is God and his outstretched arm.