My theory on Christian music always goes back to a post I read once by Penelope Trunk about how if you love something you really want to write about it, but you can’t ever write about it in an interesting way until you hate it too. The problem is, no self-respecting Christian is ever going to go there with God.
It’s dark and awful, and admitting that maybe that one time that you were crying on the tile floor in your bathroom until our eyes burst from exhaustion and you wondered how that, THAT, could ever happen to you, that in that moment you might have maybe, kinda hated God for half of a half second, well, that’s kind of frowned upon in most churches.
Don’t get me wrong, doubt is fine. Doubt is something to overcome, to work through, to resolve. But hating God? How dare thy say such things.
And so, everyone tries to write happy, happy, joy, joy songs about God, and how we need to love Him, and how He is awesome and we need to love Him.
And ya, those things are all true and great and wonderful, but when you’re driving in Route 59 traffic, sometimes worship songs just don’t do it. Which is a weird thing for me to say, because lately, while I try to avoid rear-ending people, all I listen to is Christian Radio. It keeps me calm. It helps me spend time with God. And I need the peace it brings me.
But, well, a lot of the songs aren’t very good. They just aren’t raw enough. They don’t hit a nerve. They don’t have whatever IT is.
There is one song I love though.
One song I rock out to like the world really is ending this time, and I have just three more minutes to suck in everything earthly.
It’s Matt Maher’s “Hold us together.”
I listen to it over. And over. And over. And over. And it always stays beautifully wonderful.
I love that it starts out with a beat that could sway a stadium of people or two people on a couch. I love the message it tells about love. And I especially love the line “I’ll be my brother’s keeper, so the whole world will know that we’re not alone.”
That right there sums up this whole Christian thing in one sweet, perfect sentence.