I don’t keep up with music like I once did. I suspect there are two really good reasons.
Reason the first: I’d rather buy coffee than music. It’s well documented but I’ve got a connection to coffee that’s deep and fabulous. We’re soul mates.
Reason the second: I don’t get to hang out with my older brother as much as I once did. Years ago we lived together before he got married and then even after he was married he worked at the church my father pastored. Since we lived in the parsonage and I volunteered with the youth group he organized we spent a lot of time together. Andrew is the best kind of indy music listener. Every time we’d hang out it was “hey do you know so and so? They are great! You’d love them.” It’s doesn’t happen as much as it once did.
Tracking back to my point here (I promise it’s coming) I was watching Grey’s Anatomy with my wife and heard the lyric “…my God is a good God who cares…”
It struck me instantly.
I was listening again to the song today (I went and got it after hearing it on the show) and it struck me again. I worry that we don’t present a good God who cares.
I remember my dad telling the a story about a conference he was at. He was chatting with the gentleman beside him and the conversation drifted towards my father’s obvious disability (he had to watch with crutches and was in chronic pain). The man asked what my dad’s sin was, because that’s why he had cancer and was now disabled. Dad, quick as anyone I’ve ever known, asked “well what’s your sin? You wear glasses. Your eyes don’t work? Should we pray for you to be delivered from your sin now so you can see ok?”
What a good God who cares.
I remember talking in our home church about darkness and pain people were experiencing and they would say things like “but I know God is doing this to teach me something” or “I’m going to learn what God wants me to so I can be free” or my favourite “I know God is doing this for a reason I just wish he would tell me why.”
Isn’t it obvious? Because He’s a good God who cares.
Here’s the thing, God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. God uses what was meant for evil for good. Read that again and make sure you the see the super important difference.
It’s the difference between breaking your child’s arm so they won’t climb a try and taking the time they feel out of a tree and broke their arm and talking about being safe and making good choices. One’s a good parent, one’s so abusive they would lose their children.
So when you connect in the honest real relationship which God do you present? When you’re connecting with people who don’t know God what God do they find living in you, flowing out in your actions?
When someone says “I have cancer” do you shame them because of all the sin in their life that made God have no other way to get their attention other than to start to literally kill them or do you step back and walk with them through the pain trying to love them in honest and tangible ways?
Because how you react as a Christian will start to shape how people see God, either as a petulant child causing pain for your love/ attention/ affection or one walking hand in hand through your darkness validating your pain and understanding what it’s like every step of the way.