“It may be midnight or mid day,
never early, never late
He’s gon’ stand by what he claims,
I’ve lived enough left to say…
help is on the way.”
It’s rare that I am able to write and publish a post in the same day.
I’m one of those people who will push around a Hobby Lobby shopping cart for two (okay, three) hours, slowly deciding if the items are worth the expense, carefully weighing how much I love one item over another.
I get really excited in Hobby Lobby, to the point that I forget how long I’m there. Their rotating weekly sales hypnotize me as I imagine each 50% off item transforming my home into a Pinterest vision board worthy of approval from Joanna Gaines.
I get excited like that when I’m writing (and talking) or when I have an idea to write about. It seems like the ideas constantly overwhelm my mind…like the gum balls falling on Adam Sandler in the movie, Bedtime Stories.
I try to catch them all by frantically writing or typing notes, but then it takes me forever to decide which ones I will actually share. That normally depends on how vulnerable I am willing to be with the world.
So, I wait.
Those words get pushed around in a mental shopping cart for weeks, months, and even years. The original idea that brought me so much excitement is edited, picked over, compared, second-guessed and even put back on the shelf.
The older I get, I’m beginning to regret not publishing some of those that I put back on the shelf.
Most of the time, I think I do that because I am afraid…either from my inadequate writing skills, low self-esteem or the fear of someone’s opinion or judgment.
Although, there have been cringe-worthy moments when I go back and read a previous post that somehow turned out WAY different than I remembering writing it.
On those occasions, I have to wonder if I have any real friends out there with the courage and brotherly love to text me and say, “Girl, you may want to proofread that one more time.”
This might be one of those days because I’m in a hurry to tell someone that help is on the way.
I can definitely relate. I need help in more ways than one and I’ve been waiting a long time on a few prayers.
God may use other people to answer a prayer or meet a need. He can send help in ways we can’t even explain.
He has provided help to me when I least expected it and when I was convinced there was no way out.
Help is on the way…
The opening lines of this post are lyrics from the new song by TobyMac. The music video corresponds with one of his recent songs, I Just Need U. Here’s how he describes the inspiration behind the song:
I hope you listen to these two songs.
Now, I feel like I have to say something about how some of the Christian community responded to the new music video this weekend.
Like any on-line comment section, we know many of these people are intentional in stirring the pot while everyone else falls into their trap. Then, they sit back and watch humanity implode.
I know, I know…I should have ignored it, but I didn’t, so here we go!
In both music videos for the above mentioned songs, the protection and help is portrayed by angels.
Well, these angels apparently did not meet several people’s opinion or their Hallmark image of the heavenly host. I found myself once again shocked at the insanity of society as I scrolled through the comments.
I did not engage, but I didn’t stop reading for several minutes. Sure, a dark, hooded cloak has been used to represent the villain at times, but it’s not copyrighted to evil.
Now, maybe I had a bit of an advantage over some of the comment trolls because we didn’t have any photos or figurines of angels at my grandparents’ house when I was growing up.
Not even an angel on top of the Christmas tree.
No cherubs, no guardian angels, no heavenly beings at all. There wasn’t even a painting of Jesus and I grew up with a Southern Baptist preacher.
I’ve studied a lot on spiritual warfare, so I know angels and demons actively exist then and now. However, my grandmother believed the Bible is speaking literally in Exodus 20 when God said we were not to make images or idols of any earthly or heavenly being. By doing so, this could represent the worship and adoration of the creation instead of the Creator.
I mean no offense to anyone who collects anything related to angels. If you have a collection of angelic figurines or a painting, then I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
In fact, so there’s no hard feelings, here are a few photos showing where I dressed my own children in a typical angel costume. 😇
The whole subject was never a big deal to me. Angels, seraphim, cherubim or any other living creature in the heavenly realm will all be revealed one day.
So, I find no benefit in our goal of building the kingdom by debating how angels should be portrayed or dressed in a music video…or how many wings (or eyes) are involved. You know what I’m talking about.
My personal opinion is that angels look pretty fierce. Some announce, others worship, and I believe a great number have swords.
Almost every time an angel appears to someone in the Bible, the first thing they say to the human(s) is, “Do not be afraid,” or “Fear not.”
There was that death angel back in Egypt and they probably hadn’t forgotten about that one.
I’m guessing the angel didn’t look like a glittery Tinkerbell or a friendly, floating ghost.
Sadly, I witnessed dozens, if not hundreds of people, claiming to be Christians, argue and criticize how the actors were dressed as “spooky” angels in the music video. It wasn’t a civil discussion.
How do you imagine the mighty warriors who represent the help and protection from the Lord?
Y’all want Barney Fife or The Rock?
What about Dembe from The Blacklist? I would pick him over most anyone else for my daily protection.
What in the world makes people believe the God of the universe goes into battle with demonic forces and the angels have flowing, blonde hair and harps?
Imagery like this, that gets passed down over the years through tradition comes dangerously close to misrepresenting the Bible. Each generation seems to get further away from the truth without ever reading and studying the Bible for themselves.
For example, the Bible mentions creatures with four faces, four wings or six wings…and don’t get me started on my theory of the Nephilim. 😂 Is it literal, symbolic…who knows? Let’s wait and see. It doesn’t change the Great Commission.
I say all of this to politely plead with my Christian brothers and sisters across all denominations to ask ourselves a few questions before we argue or post on-line:
- Will I distract from the spreading the gospel with my words?
- Is this issue one that distorts or confuses people about the gospel? If not, is it even worth disputing or correcting?
- Am I wrongly attacking a fellow Christian who is seeking to build the kingdom of God?
- How do I appear to non-believers if I participate in petty debates or even hateful speech on social media?
- Have I prayed about this response?
- Am I simply in a bad mood because I’m unhappy with my own life and want to take everyone else down with me?
- Did I eat my Wheaties today?
Hey, these are all valid caution light questions before criticizing Christian artists and songs (or anyone for that matter).
If we read a little about how worship is described throughout the Bible and in different cultures, then we’ll realize it’s not all solemn and stiff. There’s some shouting going on!
It takes a lot of spiritual maturity, prayer and discernment to approach and criticize another believer and those people are rare. We must tread carefully in this world of keyboard warriors.
Let’s not let our personal upbringing or preferences hinder the thousands of ways Jesus can use different people to draw attention to His majesty, power, mercy, protection and saving grace.
We don’t have all of the answers. We don’t know what everyone looks like in heaven. Let’s go with this encouraging message that includes a unique artistic presentation. If it’s not damaging the gospel, then it is very likely promoting it.
- TobyMac emerges from tragedy to declare ‘Help is on the way.’
- TobyMac debuts new single and music video