I am not musical, but I grew up with music. My dad sang along with Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams and a host of others in his record collection. My brother had a love affair with all things Country & Western. His radio was on 24/7. No, that is not hyperbole! I took my older sister’s Dave Clark Five album to show and tell when I was in elementary school.
Who remembers what they took to show and tell?
My memory unveils my heart. I am neither lyricist nor musician, arranger nor composer, but instrumentation captures me, melodies charm me, and lyrics make me think.
So a few years back when Christianity Today published The 2011 CT Music Awards I was intrigued. What would this evangelical publication promote as the best of the year? I was surprised and delighted. Number 3 on their Top 10 list was The Long Surrender by Over The Rhine. I downloaded the song, "All My Favorite People", which includes these insightful lyrics:
All my favorite people are broken Believe me, my heart should know All my friends are part saint and part sinner We lean on each other, try to rise above We are not afraid to admit we are still beginners
All of my favorite people are broken:
- Noah got drunk and lay naked in his tent (Genesis 9:18-28).
- Abraham lied about Sarah, his wife, to protect himself — twice (Genesis 12:11-20, Genesis 20:1-13).
- Moses killed a man and was cowardly (Exodus 2:11-12; Exodus 4:13).
- Rahab was a prostitute (Hebrews 11:31).
- Samson was seduced by Delilah into selling his secret (Judges 16).
- Gideon needed multiple reassurances from God before he took action (Judges 6:36-40).
Every person I named was in the Hebrews 11 Faith Hall of Fame. They were great men and women of God — and they were broken.
There’s more than one lesson in those lyrics from Over The Rhine, but here is one for today: All your favorite people are broken too! Keep a high standard, but give grace. It is what God has given you.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:1-5 NIV