I know that this song has been around for a while, but every time I hear it, I immediately find myself choked up by its haunting lyrics and melody. If you want to know the state of affairs within the hearts of our students, this song captures it: The overwhelming loss of intimate relationship with no hope for restoration or healing. This is how it is, sorry.
And for as haunting as this song is, I also feel like this song is the exact point of contact where the Good News of Jesus Christ intersects a broken and lost world.
THE PROBLEM IS HOPELESS GRIEF:
Every human knows that we are made for deep and intimate relationships. Throughout this video we see thee pictures of relationships gone bad; a couple estranged, a daughter caught in the middle of fighting parents, and elderly man about to lose his wife to death. All three pictures should be pictures of hope and healing as these relationships were designed to express love and care, but instead have only caused pain and heartbreak.
It is so interesting that a world so far from Jesus, knows intuitively that we were made to share intimately with one another. We all long to be loved and cherished. We love pictures of young love with all its passion and fun. But it seems that no young couple can cross over from the free lifestyle of light hearted fun and casual sex, into a commitment that allows for deep intimacy.
It seems that every person I encounter has some incredible wound from their parents as well. The unconditional love, support, care, and direction that parents are supposed to extend to their children often gets derailed by the parents disfunction and selfishness. Parents go off seeking their own fulfillment of broken dreams. And in stead of the child's emotional wellness being a central piece of the family, it is the needs of the parent that end up crushing the children. And what is even more incredible is that this parent wound ends up informing and impacting every area of this child's life, even into adult hood.
And for the couple who does have the character and selflessness to love through the decades, there is still death that will ultimately crush the heart of the survivor. I found myself heartbroken listing to this song, and watching the hopelessness of grief as this elderly man is about to lose the love of His life.
RELATIONSHIPS ONLY BRING HEARTBREAK:
Let's face it, life is just too hard. Relationships are too costly, and there doesn't seem to be any cultural hero leading the way of how to navigate the complexities and difficulties of broken and selfish people finding true intimacy. Decades and decades of cheep sex, and no fault divorce, loss of public accountability for personal decisions has left this generation of students totally lost.
And while our larger culture doesn't have any answers for these problems, other than get the most out of these relationships that you can, then if the going gets too hard, try again, the church has the exact remedy.
Part of the hopelessness is the complete lack of understand of how we even got here. How freeing to walk in the light and help people own the fact that it is they who are at fault, it is they who are broken, it is they who are selfish. The problem is one of character. And people of low character have been crushing each other since the beginning of time.
But the good news is that while we were still sinners, while we were as far away from Jesus as possible, it is then that Jesus showed up on the scene and rescued us. Jesus comes as a servant, as a friend, who lays down his life for those he loves. He models selflessness, empathy, and grace. And he invites those who choose to follow him, to follow him in these character traits.
While he was God and deserved all the benefits of this position, he gave it up for the sake of the people he came to save. He humbled himself, even to the point of death.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE:
It is Jesus Christ, who brings light into this dark world, who reveals a way out of this relational chaos our students find themselves in. It is Jesus Christ who helps them / us realize that part of the problem is our own sinfulness and brokenness. It is Jesus Christ who helps them / us realize that our parents did jack us, but that doesn't have to be the defining story of our life. And it is Jesus Christ who helps them / us realize that this world is not our home, and that the grief we experience when we lose a loved one is not the end. We no longer have to grieve as those who have no hope, but we trust in the power of the resurrection and the final return of the King when he ushers in the New Jerusalem when all wrongs will be made right.
Our students are lost, broken, and grieve with no hope in the future. The gospel of Jesus is good news to our students, and it is good news to us. Instead of continually focusing on behavior modification and the tinny gospel of good works, lets cut to the quick, and help our students see how overwhelming the goodness and grace is of Jesus. And maybe, just maybe, some of them will trust them with their lives and the cycle of dysfunction and despair will be exchanged for one of love and hope!
May we all embrace the incredible calling we have to not only overwhelmingly love our students with all of our hearts, but may we also be bold enough to help them understand and navigate the broken and dark world they inhabit, so they can be healed and transformed, and become a testimony to their friends that there truly is hope for a hopeless generation.