Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Strong, the Tempted, & the Weak

Living in Kansas City, Kansas for two and half years, I often drove through a lot of run-down neighborhoods. I've worked with some depressed people pulled down by experiences with drugs, abuse, neglect, death, poverty, and other unspeakable things. It amazes me how much disaster can abound in the "greatest country in the world." So many people in the US are either blind or blatantly ignorant (and I confess I've been and am one of them).

In conjunction with this I've also been challenged by the problems of addiction. Most often, when one hears or reads "addiction," thoughts immediately run to drugs and alcohol. But the challenge of addiction goes way beyond substance abuse. Addiction runs through things such as television, pornography, the internet, gambling, and what I believe is possibly the worst addiction in the US: food.

It's easy for someone who deals day-in and day-out with people who struggle with addiction or hopeless people to get down on the world, feel hopeless, and perhaps even give up. But as I drove to class today through the neighborhoods I often drive through that don't look like your typical suburban Brady-Bunch neighborhoods, a song that often encourages me impacted me again. I turned it up real loud, opened the sunroof, and sang...loudly and without apology. I didn't care that the people waiting at the bus stop heard or noticed as I sat next to them in the car at a red light. Perhaps I wanted them to hear me.

I have often typed out lyrics to a song and sent them to people thinking that their reading of them might give them the same feeling that the words elicited in me. But you really have to hear the song coupled with words to get full message. (As I've said here before, I believe that music is the most powerful artistic expression of human emotion and will be for a long, long time, if not forever.) Of course, you may not see the hopelessness and pain that I've experienced in others recently. But I've found that my exposure to these has given me a greater appreciation of the hope of Christ. That's what this song is about.

If you can, download it (legally, of course) and listen to it. When you're down and you need some hope, try listening to this song. (Click here if you want to download it.)

The Strong, the Tempted, & the Weak

in union with the Lamb
from condemnation free
the saints from everlasting were
and shall forever be
in covenant of old
the sons of God they were
the feeblest lamb in Jesus' fold
was blessed in Jesus there

it's bonds shall never break
though earth's old columns bow
the strong, the tempted, & the weak
are one in Jesus now
when storms or tempests rise
or sins your peace assail
your hope in Jesus never dies
'tis cast within the veil

here let the weary rest
who love the Savior's name
though with no sweet enjoyments blessed
this covenant stands the same

(and can I add: ... "ah-woo-hoo-hoooo")

- J

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