[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdB-8eLEW8g] It was Bob Marley's birthday this week. So in honor of the late, great reggae master, I've been listening to some of his work. We used to live in the Solomon Islands, where reggae music is the soundtrack of life. I never knew, until I lived in the Solomons, that every hymn can be sung to a reggae beat. But trust me when I tell you, it is true.
If you haven't clicked on the song yet, you gotta click. This post has a musical accompaniment. You gotta listen. You gotta sway and bounce your shoulders. And while you're getting in the groove, listen to these words:
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own? Believe me
One Love, One Heart Let's get together and feel all right As it was in the beginning (One Love) So shall it be in the end (One Heart) Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Here's why this song belongs on a counseling blog. (Other than the fact that I wanted to do a reggae thing and I didn't want to do "No Woman, No Cry" this close to Valentine's Day.)
Because people come to counseling because things have gone wrong, and they want it to be better.
Bob puts it this way, "Is there a place for the hopeless sinner?"
And I don't think we can even get to the point of owning our own junk--naming ourselves as sinners in need of grace--until we know for sure that we are safe in love.
As long as we think we're going to be blamed, shamed, judged, and condemned--we will keep pretending. To ourselves. To others. And we'll find ourselves trapped in the same-old same-old, wondering if we will ever, ever feel all right.
But when I trust that One Love, I'll have the courage to let go of my old, broken ways of fixing things myself so that God can do something new.
Psychology calls that attachment theory. As a Christian counselor, I call that attachment theory--and God's design. We're built to live in love, to be in relationship, to know we can always, always turn for home and find a welcome.
I have the feeling that my life's journey is into that love. Trusting it more and more. Letting all the junk, as it surfaces, go into the refiner's fire.
The fact that I am a hopeless sinner is not the real story. It's not even big news. It's just the set-up for what really matters. And what really matters is the love of God: rich and pure, measureless and strong.
That One Love endures as the saints' and the angels' and the hopeless sinner's song.