Home > Slightly Off-Topic > If You Were Here: A Lenton Reflection

If You Were Here: A Lenton Reflection

5 March 2010

I’ve been going through one of my 80’s nostalgia phases, lately.  This latest phase is an upgrade from previous phases, in that I rely heavily on YouTube.  I’ve pretty much run the gamut from Duran-Duran, to Simple Minds, to Toto, but there is one song that I have spent hours playing, almost ad nauseum.  This song is, “If You Were Here,” by the Thompson Twins.  It is the theme song for the John Hughe’s film, Sixteen Candles

What amazes me is that for all these years, I had thought it was a love song.  It isn’t.  When I finally listened and then read through the lyrics, I realized that it’s a break-up song.  (Yeah yeah, not too swift on the uptake, I know)

If you were here
I could deceive you
and if you were here
you would believe
but would you suspect
my emotion wandering, yeah
do not want a part of this anymore

The rain water drips
through a crack in the ceiling
and I’ll have to spend
my time on repair
But just like the rain
I’ll be always falling, yeah
only to rise and fall again

Ouch!

In other words,
a)  The break-er has no respect for the break-ee
b)  The break-er is desperately in love .. with someone else
c)  The break-er is tired of being an enabler for the break-ee
d)  The break-er is finally telling all of this to his girlfriend, mercilessly. 

Though the intent of the break-er is probably to humiliate his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend, I still find that there is an underlying grace within the lyrics.  If you were more in love with someone than they were with you, and they no longer wished to be in the relationship, would you really want the facade of romance to continue? 

There is grace in that awful truth.  It is real and it is large, though it is definitely not soft, warm and fluffy. 

When I think of Lent and how God deals with truth to His people (and those Who are not His), it seems to me that God desires for all of us to have truth eventually;  but He doesn’t see it as a human right.  There are times in the Old Testament when God withheld truth from the ungodly  (e.g., Rahab’s lie), and there are times in the New Testament (esp. the early parts of Christ’s ministry, when He tells everyone to keep a lid on the Messiah thing) when we see that happening as well.  In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus too, we see that truth is not the right of the Unbeliever;  else the Rich Man would certainly be allowed to give it the old college try. 

Since truth isn’t our right, whenever God reveals truth to us (even when it is difficult for us to take), it is a gracious act.  Therefore, if God sang the Thompson Twins song to me (as odd as this sounds), it would be gracious. 

And yet, God is so much more gracious to me than the humiliating intent of “If You Were Here.” 

I owe Him so much.

Father God, I thank You for Your truth and that you have graciously revealed it to me;  I thank You for the gift You have given me to believe it;  I thank you for the graciousness in revealing it, even when it doesn’t seem very gracious.  I thank You that You do not see me as ‘rainwater falling from a crack in the ceiling,’ when my heart turns to my besetting sins, but rather as Your adopted child.  Help me to be a better man and help me to be faithful to Your truth, even the hard truths, and even (and especially) during those times when contending for Your hard truths is costly for me and mine. 

Finally Lord, help me to discern the times when I need to speak the truth in love, and those times when it’s appropriate to shake the dust from my sandals.  Lend me wisdom in those times.  May I ever honor You, in any case, with words that You will put into my mouth, and strength You will give me, from the Encourager. 

In Your Son’s Holy Name,
Amen

– Elder

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