Saturday, March 29, 2014

Letting Me In

When I was little I would sometimes watch my Dad listen to his music.

He would sit cross-legged in front of his cool and humongous stereo with these gigantic headphones on his head. They had this big black cord that spiraled out of one side and down to the stereo. He looked like an air traffic controller without his shirt on.

We lived in the Philippines and it was hot and sweaty all the time. Bugs everywhere, and I didn’t like it much. Roaches as big as your foot, when you’re a kid, make you not like a place. Especially when they would fly at you and sound like a helicopter.

But, no matter where we were, I loved to watch my Dad listen to his music.

It was quiet in the house but you could hear he had his music up so loud, listening to the likes of Peter Frampton, the Doobie Brothers, Bachman Turner Overdrive , Jim Croce and Elton John… Steve Miller… Grand Funk.

Good, good stuff.

Sometimes I would bug him. I mean, I didn’t mean to actually bother him, and I don’t think it did… but I wanted to be a part somehow of what was happening. I would come up and tap his hairy freckled shoulder in order to somehow get a glimpse of this good thing going on.

A few times, he would slowly turn to me with these just barely moist eyes and I knew it was something really, really good happening in the song.

And it was in that moment, he would let me in.

He would let me sit with him, and he even let me listen in at times. He talked about how good a song it was… and he would reach up and reposition the needle back at the beginning of the song to listen again.

I can still see his face, I can still hear his voice, smell his aftershave and I can still feel how special those moments were when he was listening to his music, and he didn’t mind me sticking my face into whatever was going on.

While this didn’t happen every time, it sticks with me more than many other things, how special it was to see him, bug him… to be let in to this thing that mattered a lot to him, and that brought him life.

I don’t believe it can be overstated how important it is for the life and love of a father to be spoken into that of his kid.

His kid like me. In those moments, I knew he was for me.

There’s a place in the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible where Jesus has gone out to a man in the wilderness to be baptized. The man instantly recognizes Jesus and says something to the effect of, “I should not be the one baptizing you, we’ve got this all backwards.”

But Jesus won’t relent… He has John baptize Him, and when He comes up out of the water, a voice from Heaven says, “This is my Son, whom I love… with Him I am well pleased.”

Now all of our theological questions about what God’s voice sounds like notwithstanding, I can’t help but also believe this was a pretty beautiful moment for all of humanity… for all of God’s children.

I think He was letting us in.

Not only is it the introduction to end all introductions (I mean God spoke out of Heaven, that’s a pretty big intro)… but He’s also letting us in. Right there at the beginning of things changing forever.

He’s letting us in on the Son He loves. He’s letting us in on some really good news. Letting us in on some really, really good music and a good story.

Some really good music and a story so very close to His heart.

Look, I tell you all this because I believe you and I are meant to bear witness to some really good things, and God… the God who made the world and life and breath and bears and steak and music loves you so very much… so very much.

He loves you so much that He doesn’t mind letting you in on something very special going on, on this very special story and on this really, really good music that brings life.

So don’t you think you are alone.
Don’t you sit there thinking that you are forgotten and that God’s joys are for someone else.
Not for a minute should you believe that you will always hurt.
And you should not give a second to the thought that you deserve the pain you feel.

You have a Father who cannot wait for the big intro, the big ask… for you to tap Him on the shoulder so that He can turn with moist eyes and look at you and take you in.

Let you into His story… after all, it really is for you.

He really is for you.

That my friend, is good stuff. Good, good stuff.