Here’s a guest post by a friend who loves music, and, better yet, loves to find the meaning in songs.
Do You Hear What I Hear,
by Faye Slabaugh
About a year ago I received an email with the link to this video. I proceeded to watch it twenty times back-to-back. The thought of hugging perfect strangers . . . not knowing where they’d been, where they were going, just hugging them. No strings attached. Just a random act of love. The idea inspired me and gave me great joy. So I replayed the video another 200 times –ask my kids. And then finally . . . finally I heard the lyrics. Do you hear what I hear?
I’m sure what I hear is probably not the original artist’s intention. But as a Christ-follower, my heart aches when I hear this song. There is a darkness here. A brokenness. A deep sadness. Do you hear it? Do you hear an atheist, a widow, an alcoholic, an adulterer, an orphan, a drug dealer, a pedophile, a sex offender, a prostitute, a thief, a meth addict, a cancer patient, a pregnant teen, a runaway, a porn addict, a liar? I hear the cry of a sinner.
I hear me. I hear you.
This song is the gospel. That is what I hear. I hear the broken sinner who is done. Done with life. Disgusted by their own face in the mirror. The one who has lost everything that has ever meant anything.
I hear the one on their face in the middle of the night in a puddle of their own tears and mucus. The one who is ready to cry out. The desperate.
I hear angels celebrating in heaven as one more surrenders their life to the only God who can truly save them.
I hear Jesus crying out on the cross to His Father in heaven in agony and complete and utter obedience.
I hear the joyful shout of the father whose prodigal has come home.
I hear forgiveness. I hear failure . . . black, dark and haunting . . . it is all over. But wait. A blinding, bright light and a white flag . . .HALLELUJAH! The sound of surrender.
I think this may be the best Christmas song ever written. The cry of the broken-heartened, the beat up, the burned out . . . I think that is the sweetest song our Lord has ever heard. The sweetest Hallelujah is when we give up on trying to play god. When we cry out and surrender. Love is not a victory march . . . it is pure, sweet, surrender. The peace that surpasses all understanding starts when we give in, give up, wave the flag.
Are you ready?
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord well be saved.” Romans 10:13
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:43
Here are the lyrics printed out including a couple brilliant add-on stanzas at the end:
I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah