Dear crazy and RECENTLY INSANE world,
I don’t know what you think about country music. You may be someone who screams it at the top of your lungs out the car window or you may not even know what “country music.” If you’re foreign, the only American music you’ve probably heard is Brittany Spears and the “Biebs.”
For a girl raised in the South, I have never liked country music. The twang, trucks, and beer just don’t speak to my heart. However, there is one song. The words follow as: “God is great, beer is good, people are crazy.” It’s only a few words, but they are some of the truest words I have ever heard. The beer part may be disputable… but I certainly know that my two undeniable truths are: God is great and there is no doubt that people are crazy. In fact, sometimes people are so crazy that I can barely stand it. One thing after another—until I think my heart might collapse in despair for the entire world.
A young boy is never told how amazing he is, so he gives up on every step of the rest of his life. A father cares nothing about his children, but everything about his work. We drink the magic elixir of alcohol to lose ourselves and find others-only to find that they too are absent, drinking from the same cup. A husband verbally abuses his wife, and yet she goes on, watching Wheel of Fortune. After fifteen years of a life with her two children and husband, a woman abandons her family for a life on her own. A man cannot speak his feelings, or the words, “I’m sorry,” so he finishes off an entire bottle of wine. Nations rage over land, demoCRAZY, and whose God is better.
If there is one thing that all the world’s religions have in common, it is the recognition of the flawed human heart. The affairs, the misunderstandings, the biases, and the complexities in our own interior all point to this prevalent truth. Last night, as I sat on my dock and looked around at the houses, each illuminated by their lights, I thought of the inevitable LOADS of suffering that has entered through every door.
It’s remarkable how easy it is for us to swap out our life lenses. At one moment we see all things as illuminated in a beautifully positive light and the next, all things are shrouded in a frightening darkness. The last time I visited my home church, I was overcome by a warming love when I looked around at the smiling children, couples, and elders in the pews. This Sunday, I felt a cold stone in my stomach as each individual mechanically rose and sat, as instructed by the speaking pastor. Singer and cellist Ben Sollee (LISTEN TO HIM-He’s one of those that sums up life pretty dang well) has a song entitled, “Bend”, that speaks perfectly to my heart. I would like to think my usual lenses are those of light, but as reality’s coldness and harshness have crept into view, so has a dark window. All of these things have made me indeed “bend.” “When the storm comes, will you reject the rain?” When the wind blows and calls your name, will you run in fear?” “Don’t stand against the wind, because you know you’re gonna break.” I may not be breaking yet, but I have certainly been near BURSTING.
When people get their CRAZIEST, I find it easier to see them as some odd and foreign species to which I do not belong. I imagine that surely I couldn’t be a part of this crazy world, belonging only to the mystic cosmos to which I will one day return. Of course, there is no denying my inevitable tie to this race. In the end, it is easier to realize this bond. And in lenses of light, it is quite a beautiful thing to reach out to a stranger like you. I do hope that you use your lenses of light, seeing the way that the same crazy world that brings such hurt can be illuminated in brilliance. Do not let it break you…simply Bend.
A girl trying to Bend…and perhaps using a Bifocal way of seeing the world,