Don’t you love when the nearness of God penetrates an ordinary afternoon? I was babysitting for a little buddy of mine while her mom and dad went for a prenatal appointment for adorable baby #2. Her mom had left a Pandora radio station playing on her Apple computer for our listening enjoyment.
Side-Bar: I’m pretty narrow in my music preferences – both in genre and method of listening. The music on my computer was selected and installed by my family. Typically, I listen to my classical guitarist son, Nathan Mills, Christmas music (starting in October), and contemporary worship. If you’re like me, you may not know these songs (below; links are at the bottom of page). Hang in there with me on this. I think you will resonate with how God can turn any ordinary into something extraordinary.
As my little buddy finished her snack, and we retired to her living room to play, the music became more of a focal point. The Pandora channel was Jack Johnson (Children’s) which I’ve never heard before. As my little charge and I began playing together, one song after another (4 in a row) set my heart to praise.
Adele’s Make Me Feel Your Love – Cover of Bob Dylan’s song (1997).
“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn’t do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
To make you feel my love.”*
Crazy romantic song and yet also full of images of my experience of a God who pursues and goes, not just to the ends of the Earth but, to the Cross for us. Not just so I can feel His love but to know it absolutely.
Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up (also by Michael Natter) – It’s a ballad about fighting for relationship(s), about holding on to one’s life aspirations, and about remaining steadfast.
“I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up.
I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make.”**
Coming on the playlist after Make You Feel My Love, this song reminded me of the culture of today. Commitments aren’t forever. Too often, we walk away from each other…and sometimes we walk away from God. So much is at stake in life, and I don’t want to be “someone who walks away so easily”. I want to be a person who doesn’t give up on life, or God…or you.
As I was twirling around the living room with my little buddy, singing this song, it was like a proclamation of praise to God that He doesn’t give up on us, and I’m not going to give up on us either.
Ingrid Michaelson’s The Way I Am – This quirky little love song doesn’t really take me to the throne of God or anything. Yet, there are a couple of lines that speak volumes to me:
“I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.”***
How grateful I am that God knows us, through and through, and loves us anyway. His love causes me to love Him. He is not surprised or put off by my brokenness, and I love Him for that… No need to say, “I promise”. He knows I love Him…as imperfect and messy as that is…and He still takes me the way I am…and by His grace, makes me something beautiful.
Then, last of the 4 in a row:
American Authors’ Best Day of My Life – Anybody who knows this song has to wonder how I could derive any thought of God from it. It could be a stretch…but not for me. The lead vocalist of American Authors tells how the song is about how we can all escape from whatever our reality is and enter into some sort of better world we make up, if need be.**** We can make any day “the best day of my life”.
The irony here is that this situation is totally flipped, thanks to God. Whatever our situation is, or seems to be, we can know that God is at work in it, whatever it is, for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Rather than letting whatever is “seen” devastate us or bring us down, we focus on what is “unseen” – the marvel of God at work in our lives and all around us. He makes “best days” possible…always.
The rest of the songs on the Pandora playlist yesterday are a blur to me. The afternoon wound down with books, babydolls, and bears…and my little charge. When her parents returned, I left for home…blessed. A bit of time serving a young family I love, and 4 pop ballads that filled my heart, all over again, with joy and gratefulness at knowing God.
This sort of thing happens to you, too, right? Finding sacred in the supposed secular? I’m sure of it.