Making Visible The Kingdom Through Convergence

Across The Universe…The Power of Memory & Song

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This past Monday I was driving back from the Metro-Detroit area after having spent seven very long and tiring days completing a project.  Somewhere late in the night (probably somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania) I was listening to the soundtrack from the film “Across the Universe” – a film that re-imagines the 1960’s via the songs of the Beatles – and the song “Let It Be” came through the speakers.  If you’ve seen the film you know that this song accompanies some very powerful imagery associated with the Civil Rights movement and the funeral of a little boy…

After the last seven days I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that would well up when this song came on.  It always reminds me of two moments and transports me back to those point.

The first was when my wife Kate and I were traveling in Israel with Dr. Bryan Widbin and Maranatha Tours and had just passed through the security checkpoint to leave Bethlehem.  It was this long cavernous facility of stone and glass with men armed with automatic weapons hovering above on catwalks.  As we exited the facility this song was playing on Kate’s iPod and we saw this mural on the wall that depicted the Lion of Judah ferociously consuming the dove of peace.  There were children outside and they were docile and silent.  I wanted to take a picture of the mural, but Israeli security wouldn’t allow it.

The second moment was the funeral of our niece Alexa who died last August.  She was two-weeks old.  My brother Kyle and I sang this song at her funeral.  We were going to show a montage of photos of Alexa, but were unable to get it to play and I remember Kate being thankful.  She had said that if those photos had accompanied the song she thought it would have been too overwhelming.

When I hear this song time and space seem to compress and linger.  I feel suspended for a moment in time and feel so small and fragile.  At the same time when I hear the words to the song I also feel a sense of peace.  I know that in the midst of all that we have experienced Christ is present in the moment with us.  The point of the Incarnation was not that we seek to run from these moments to hide on a mountaintop, but that God has descended from the mountain – from a place that stands outside of time and space in eternal glory – to be one of us and wear human flesh, cry human tears, and unite his divinity to his humanity for all time.  We are not alone in our tears…

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