Glorious Failure

Life is a long series of failures. Here's to failing gloriously!

Tag: girl

Forgiveness: How Can it Be?–Reflections on a Song by Lauren Daigle

“How can it be?” Performed here beautifully by Lauren Daigle is a song I can’t get out of my head. I am compelled by this song.

Why?

Not sure. But in this post I’m going to give it a go. I want to uncover what makes this song so compelling and discover why I am so compelled by it.

Resonance. That’s what it always comes down to. Doesn’t it? I resonate with the message of the song: wonder–wonder at God’s gift of grace. To start with the title, “How can it be” is a question. The title itself calls into question the very possibility of forgiveness. It’s too wonderful to be true. The song’s starting point is the obvious state of our hearts: imperfection and brokenness–what the Bible calls sin. We are dirty, unclean in our sin. Could anything be more obvious about the human condition? To contemplate God then, in His goodness and perfection further contrasts our character with His. The more I contemplate God,┬ámy sin becomes more apparent, not less.

Beautiful.

It’s from this starting point the song begins. The title: recognizing our broken and sinful state wonders at the possibility of forgiveness and freedom from slavery to sin. I love that. It begins with disbelief–disbelief that something so wonderful could possibly exist. And if I’m honest with myself, that’s where my heart begins each day, not with belief but with disbelief. To conceive of something so wonderful as freedom–freedom from the slavery to sin and death is almost too wonderful to comprehend. How can that be?

Everyday it seems my heart has to be converted from disbelief to belief. And that is the power of God.

The melody of this song is gorgeous and versatile. Daigle’s unique almost gritty vocal timbre makes her distinct from other Christian artists today. She sounds like the Adele of Christian music. In this studio recording she demonstrates a wide range of vocal control, not just showing off the beautiful versatility of this melody, but also the breath-taking range, control, styling, and dynamics of her vocal chops.

My wife introduced me to this song a few weeks ago. The past week this song has been my heart’s meditation each day. I have yet to get through an encounter of this song without crying and becoming nearly overwhelmed by emotion. God’s grace is powerful. To contemplate it nearly overwhelms me each time. My prayer this morning is that I never get over it.

This morning that’s my prayer for you too. May we never lose our wonder for God and His never-stopping, never-giving up, absolutely crazy, absurd, and outrageous love for us.

Contemplating the Millennial experience: Ryan Lewis — Fake Empire

Characteristic to the millennial experience is frustration when attempting meaningful connection with others. This video contemplates why.

Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) here portrays a young man struggling to connect with a lady friend. The context for his struggle is today’s media saturated culture in which we find ourselves. It’s one driven by consumerism and defined by materialism. The music samples The National’s “Fake Empire” stating, “We’re half-awake in a fake empire.”

(No, Katy Perry, only half-awake;)

jk. But seriously.

I find this video indicative of the millennial experience. Full disclosure: I am a millennial. That is I was born between 1980 and 2000.

Here’s why:

Two major themes in this video tell our story. The first is the difficulty to connect in meaningful and personal ways to people we care about in part because most of our communication today is mediated. We peruse Facebook, send a text message, or write email. Face to face communication is the exception these days. Not the norm. I think the video attempts to highlight the irony that media allows us to communicate any time, anywhere, to anyone. Yet we don’t feel connected. My intuitive sense is that media itself somehow prevents us from connecting in personal, meaningful, and fulfilling ways.

The second theme is an economic commentary. The visual themes are communicated through the still images of people with mouths taped over with corporate logos. These images suggest a strong experiential connection to brands we like: Apple, McDonald’s, Nike, for instance. Their brand presence is ubiquitous. They pervade nearly every aspect of our existence. We understandably feel a connection to these brands.

And yet these brands, to which we do in fact feel connected, are not persons. We can’t have a life-changing, soul-touching conversation with them around a camp fire. Rather they are corporations. No. Worse. They are representations of corporations. Reflecting on this, realizing this truth exasperates the soul!

I believe that’s why the Lewis-Haggerty duo chose to put these brand logos covering the mouth. Experiential connections to these brands is not like a conversation face-to-face with another human soul. It cannot be. It is not rewarding or fulfilling like meaningful human relationships. Yet these brands to which we do feel connected, are nothing but a farce, relationally speaking.

This is the thematic connection to the lyrics, being half awake in a fake empire. Attempts at meaningful human relationships go unfulfilled. Relationships that are real to our experience aren’t actually human relationships, and therefore go unfulfilled. Instead they are connections to corporate entities, carefully crafted only to elicit particular responses from us. On both accounts we are foiled in our attempt to connect with another human being and thus find satisfaction.

This is just one reason I like Ryan Lewis productions so much. They are thoughtful reflections on our contemporary experience. In this case the reflections is characteristic of the Millennial’s experience. Not to mention the music’s good and the video’s compelling. That always helps.

Glorious Failure

Life is a long series of failures. Here's to failing gloriously!

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