There Is A Crack In Everything
I'm going to nerd out a bit about music if that's okay with everyone. Actually, I have no idea whether you think it's a good idea or not because you are reading this, and I'm writing it hours before you do so.
Let's assume then that you have nodded in assent, and I'll move forward. I feel better now, so that's something.
I've been listening to my Essential Leonard Cohen playlist a bit and it's been serving as some inspiration in moments when I've needed it. If you aren't familiar with Leonard Cohen, you probably are and you just don't know it.
Several of his songs have been reworked by artists who made them into big hits. Rod Stewart had a hit with Downtown Train, and Cohen's song Hallelujah has been covered by Rufus Wainright and a host of other people as well.
But it's his song Anthem that has been speaking to me lately. Incidentally, Anthem was recently masterfully covered by Father John Misty (Josh Tillman) in an EP he released this month, you should check it out.
But back to the song itself. Here are the lyrics that stood out for me when I was listening to it yesterday:
The birds they sang
At the break of day
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Yeah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in...
By now, you have probably deduced that I find a lot of inspiration from poetry and song lyrics (which is also poetry).
Honestly, there's so much in these lyrics to talk about... but I'm going to zero in on two lines, the first of which is this one:
"Don't dwell on what/ Has passed away/ Or what is yet to be..."I've been grieving the loss of a lot of things lately. I'm sure that many of you have been doing the same. Grief can make people do strange things. It can lead to anger or bitterness. It can cause us to withdraw. And for some of us, it can drive us to do more and more--to stay busy at all costs.
That line of the song reminds me of Isaiah 43:19 where the prophet speaks the words of the Lord and says, "Forget the former things... See, I'm about to do a new thing!" We are exhorted to trust that God redeems what has been lost, and is already at work in the future--we don't have to worry.
The second line is the one at the very end:
"Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in..."There's an idea that so many of us have about following Jesus being something that you can only truly do when you have our faith all figured out... when we know more... when we get to a more stable place in our lives.
But the song reminds us that we need to forget that perfect offering--it's not ever going to happen. But it's in our imperfections and weakness that God shows up and "makes us strong" as the Apostle Paul asserted.
So know this today... you might be feeling broken and not at all ready to follow Jesus where Jesus might be leading you. You might feel like you haven't got the faith to take another step. You've been shattered by loss, angered by grief, hollowed out by focusing so much on what will never be the same again.
This is when you need to follow Jesus the most. There are cracks in your armor, that much is certain. But it's the cracks that let the light of Christ shine into you and through you.
In your weakness, you are made strong.
May this give you courage and hope for today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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