I know there have always been messages of love and life (and not just the sexy stuff) in the rock and pop worlds, even though I was a bit young for the sixties scene. But now, today, even in the middle of the scanty clothing and the writhing bodies, there is just as much a message of Divine love coming through to us as there always has been. Spirit will always get through somewhere — and given the British riots of August it’s wonderful to know that.
It’s not just in songs of course, it’s movies and books like J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Terry Pratchett’s incredible work. I recommend Terry’s Small Gods, and Nation to anyone who wants to know the nature of religion and how it affects us.
But back to the music — the angels of God are singing loud and clear to us and to our children. Yes, there’s lots of pain and grief and anger in the hits too but listen carefully and you will hear the music of the spheres. And often, it’s the video that transforms the song from something secular to the work of the Divine.
There’s an article here on my blog about Lady Gaga’s “Judas” and how it perfectly defines the pull of our animal soul (the Nefesh) and the human soul (Neshamah). “Jesus is my virtue, but Judas is the demon I cling to,” she sings wishing she were not continuously drawn to the ‘wrong’ man. The Jesus figure in the video is beautiful, passive and loving but Judas is an animal man of passion.
Like Lady Gaga, we long to embrace the love and truth represented by Jesus in the video but our lower nature is drawn to the excitement, the ‘hit’ and the sexuality of the bad boy, Judas. Here’s the article – the YouTube link for all the songs is at the bottom of this piece.
Another song of spirit of 2011 is Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ about the light’s being within us all and ready to shine as soon as we allow it. But the third song of this summer is the miracle one for me. It’s James Morrison’s ‘I won’t let you go.’
The key is in watching the video and both hearing and seeing the singer not as friend, boyfriend or lover but as God calling to us while we are lost in despair. I beg those of you who are literary to forget the triteness of the poetry and read the message.
And if you feel the fading of the light
And you’re too weak to carry on the fight
And all your friends that you care for have disappeared
I’ll be here, not gone, forever holding on.
The God figure seeks out the girl, who is in despair. She is lying, hopeless and careless of her life, in the middle of a road. As she lies there, alone and lost, she is slowly surrounded by humans (angels) who don’t know what she wants or whether to step forward or step back. They can’t impose on her free will and she is giving no sign. God, in human form (yes, you could say Christ) approaches her, asks nothing of her and lies down with her. All God wants is just to be there to hold her hand so that she can turn to It if she chooses to.
And because of God’s love, the angels can also respond.
Take a look (below).
And so the message this month is to watch for, and appreciate, the love of the Holy One in movies, in songs, in overheard phrases on the street; in the X Factor (truly!) and wherever there is a space for the angels to sing.
And if there is nothing there; no spark, no inspirational light, you know what? There’s you. And that’s exactly why you’re there. God is waiting to speak, move or sing through you, just as It has through James Morrison.