It’s taken us until the last last week to get to this one – for a few reasons – but the main one being that it was curiosity that opened the door to this project. This was the song that started it all. It was a lonely September night and I sent this song to a friend with this caption:
“If Jesus music and 90s country had a baby, this would be it. And I love it. Because this is my comfort food.”
And so began the weeks long “discussion” about why all the music I like sounds religious. I’m ok with it today. I resisted it so hard for a bit. That’s my normal posture. Me and my big prickly walls have to live with the idea for a bit. Only if it settles on my skin more like fuzzy socks rather than anxiety skin does it get to stay today. This one stayed.
The mellow intro. The raspy vocals. And the harmony of the many. This song is like good homemade chili. Or your favorite Christmas candy. I want to slow dance and have a spiritual experience all while getting ready for the big ending because when it hits, we GO TO CHURCH. That last part requires a hand in the air and a foot stomp. Because.
It also requires a long hard look at what is holy and what is saving me today. As I have peeled back the truth of relationships and connection, I’ve discovered how vital my human connections are in my healing. The challenge to this reality comes in discovering that loving and being freed to love without my known rules feels dangerous and more overwhelming than I ever dreamed.
This truth is, I have spent most of my life hearing a song like this and immediately switching the human intended target of a upbeat love song to the understanding that I had for Jesus. Had this song come out in 2001, there is a very real possibility that I would have listened to the track, not thinking of human love, and immediately tried to weave the holy water into a Sunday school lesson. All Brett wanted was for us to have a feel good heart song. I couldn’t just love a human. I had to make it a holy sacrifice.
Wrongly, I assumed for years that relationships without roots in a religious belief system could not last. What I have discovered, instead, is that unregulated grace in the name of love has defined my hardest relationships. Allowing people to have holy places in my life and not have the power of deities has been the trickiest of the rebuilding work. The instructions that I have always followed no longer fit. But my insides are wise when they are acknowledged. I just tend to blast through the wisdom of my own stored knowledge. It’s in there. I have the experience and insight. I just have not had a lens that was helpful to understand the whole of human connection.
If there is one thing that I know for sure today about my curious wanderings in new holy water, it’s that I am working on more REAL connection than ever. Some days that is hard because to redefine trusting people, my circle to test market the new feelings has been very small. Learning that quality connection over quantity touches is my desired outcome has felt wrong. My mission has changed this year. I was sent back to do some remedial relationship work. As I have redefined and reestablished, I have found new holy water. Both with humans and myself.
“Didn’t know I need you, now I do…”