Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of Course It's Weird - Some Dude Rose From The Dead

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd."
-Flannery O'Connor
As I've been trying to create space during Lent in which to encounter God, I've been convicted of some wrong attitudes I've had over the last few years. One of the biggest is my unwillingness to live as someone truly transformed by the Gospel. I don't want to live that way because it would be weird.

It's weird because Christianity is weird. We believe that God humbled himself and became man. We believe that he was crucified, took on the weight of our sin, died and was buried. We believe that he rose from the dead. That's just weird.

And it should inspire weird lives. If we're honest, we're not that weird. (And "witty" t-shirts are not divine weirdness; they're just bad art.) How are our priorities, our actions or even our expectations about life, any different than those who don't believe in Christianity?

But I don't want to be weird; I want to be liked. I'm afraid that people will be turned off by the weirdness of a life truly transformed by the Gospel. Some might be turned off, but what I don't realize is that the weirdness is what's beautiful.

Whenever I feel like I need to be reminded of the beauty of being weird in the name of God, I pull out a little Danielson. While they've taken various forms over the years, the driving creative force has always been Daniel Smith. His lyrics are Christian (and a little weird), and his music tends to fall toward the less accessible end of the spectrum.

The beautiful thing is that his faith leads him to make challenging art that people are forced to wrestle with. There is a documentary out about the band called Danielson: a Family Movie. I haven't seen it, but the trailer (embedded below) gives you a taste for how so many fans are almost disgusted (or at least annoyed) by the band's overt faith. But the beauty of the art keeps drawing them in.

I know I have trouble being comfortable in my own skin. I care too much what others think. I need to embrace the weirdness of the Gospel and the way it changed my life. And I need to live it out in all of it's beautiful, awe inspiring weirdness.

As Daniel Smith [I believe it's Daniel] says in the trailer, "It's not for us, by us, to us, or about us. So, we just keep pointing to the creator of music - the maker." May we all strive to do just that.

A Prayer For The Sixth Day Of Lent
Lord we thank you for the truth you have revealed to us in your son, Jesus Christ. And we praise you for the beautiful, awe-inspiring weirdness that is the Gospel. Send us your Holy Spirit so that we can embody this weirdness for the world to see. Let it permeate our lives. Let it inspire beauty. Let it force us to redefine the expectations of the world. Let it shine so bright that the world must wrestle with it's beauty, it's intricacy and it's revolution. Lord, make us weird.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

"Did I Step On Your Trumpet"
Lyrics and Music by Daniel Smith
Copyright 2006

Did I step on your trumpet
Or did I lump
Lump them in with you

I put your name on the ballot
'Cause you should run
Though you don't want to

I've been called the wet blanket
By cranks who I out rank with no thanks
Who do not have a

Yes I know how to be quiet just one more thing
I made you something

I wrote for you a lovely sonnet
'Bout two great friends
Your truly and you

We'll grant just one social skill
Share a gesture of goodwill

I try
To relate
With my shipmates

Then I just start blurting out the first thing on my mind

How am I looking in your frilly bonnet
With the diamond on it
I guess I better go

I'm a people magnet
When I wear your jacket
Good luck getting this

Pleasing people
Is so predictable
We love you now
Then stab you how many

Time I obsess
And am making a mess
Failing to impress you
In all that I can't do

Would you take care of my pet parrot
And feed him these
He speaks less than me

You speak so much about my casket
My body basket
Did I do something wrong

We'll grant one more social clue
The landfill shall be home to you

All my ships
Sailing relatons
Have finally found

Who I am made out to be
Me and free of

Pleasing people
Is so predictable
We love you now
Then stab you how many
Time I obsess
And am making a mess
Failing to impress you
In all that I can't

Be just who you're made to be
Pappa is so mighty pleased with thee

Did I Step On Your Trumpet? from Sounds Familyre on Vimeo.

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