Yesterday, I stepped away from the office for a few minutes to get a cup of coffee. I wound my way through the Pentagon to Starbucks. Yes, there’s a Starbucks in the building. All in the name of national defense! As I stood there waiting to order, I heard a version of “Hallelujah” playing overhead. I hadn’t heard it in a long time, and it’s a song I absolutely love. I find it captivating.
Upon returning to the office, I went to YouTube and pulled up Jeff Buckley’s version, my all-time favorite. It drew me in as it always does. For the next hour, I found and played different versions to include Leonard Cohen’s original and another favorite version by Rufus Wainwright.
The song has always had a spiritual feel to me, but I never took it any further than that. Clearly many others have though, evidenced by the massive amount of comments below each version I listened to. To sum up a major thread, some believe the song is rooted in religion and some don’t. However, this debate, in my view, all came back to the same thing…..love and people arguing over the source of that love.
If you’ve spent much time at all with the Bible or writings from other religions, they’re peppered with words about love. As a Christian, I believe in Jesus, who was the ultimate lover and who set the example of how to love best. An example we fall short of every day, but something we should always strive for.
Ever tried loving your enemies? Yeah, that’s not easy. How about loving your enemies who nailed you to a cross. Think you could do that? I may have been able to get past the false trials, but I would have come off the rails when the torture began!
But Jesus didn’t. He persisted, loving on until he died, was resurrected, descended into heaven and He’s never stopped.
See, love is a funny thing. We know it when we feel it. We recognize it when we see it. Yet we struggle to describe it and struggle more when we lose it. “It’s just something you feel,” we say. “You know it when you feel it.”
Well, God is also a funny thing. We know it when we feel Him. We recognize Him when he see Him. Yet we struggle with Him, especially when something tragic occurs like the death of a child. But like before, we hear people say, “I can’t describe it, but I felt His presence. You just know when God is there.”
Throughout the Bible, the word of the Lord is tailored to appeal to specific groups of people like business people. God’s word at times was indirectly told through stories and shown through simple acts of kindness. This was God’s way of spreading His word to all people, even if it took masking it where it was tough to see, recognize, feel or describe. Sounds a lot like love to me.
God is love. Hallelujah.