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Come Take A Look At Me Now (More Like Falling In Love Part 4)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Come Take A Look At Me Now (More Like Falling In Love Part 4)

Come Take A Look At Me Now (More Like Falling In Love Part 4)

 It ought to be more like falling in love
Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out,
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling in love…

“Man, I gotta tell you, your song has been the soundtrack to what the Lord is doing in my life right now,” my pastor friend from Colorado kindly called to tell me the other day about my song More Like Falling In Love.

 “Oh thanks so much man,” I said.  We call each other “man” a lot. “I’m so grateful to hear that. Honored. Really.”

 “Yeah, I love it. But there’s one line that’s really been buggin’ me and I wanted to ask you about it.

 “Uh-oh… okay, hit me with it – which line is it?” I said.

 “Well, the song is great, and it’s been confirming some things the Lord is speaking to me in my reading lately, but there’s this one line that bugs me because I’m not sure what you mean. It’s in the chorus: ‘come take a look at me now’ – are you saying, ‘hey check me out!  I got it all figured out now!’?  Why are you calling attention to yourself at that point in the song? I had to ask you because I know you’re very intentional about your lyrics and I might be missing your intention here.”

 I told him how glad I was that he asked, and that I’ve been asked about this line, before. I realize that the meaning isn’t immediately obvious – that it was actually a very personal line that came from my own experience, but that I suppose if you don’t know the story behind it, it could be kind of ambiguous. So here’s the story:

 You see, my father-in-law – who is great by the way – likes to buy everyone in the family a matching gift every year for Christmas.  Early in our marriage, he bought everyone these really cool blue fleece pullovers by Patagonia.  The only problem is, that as a young newly married man, I had serious reservations about wearing matching coats with my wife in public.

 I didn’t want to be that couple, who wore matching clothes and were all lovey-dovey in public together.  I was afraid it was too “cute” like Jerry Seinfeld and his girlfriend in The Soup Nazi episode where they call each other “schmoopie” all the time.   Blech!!  So the truth is that though I loved the jacket that Taya’s dad gave us, it posed a bit of a threat to my coolness, to the point that if we were going out and Taya was wearing hers, I would take mine off and wear something else.

 I know, I know, it’s lame and obviously a result of my profound insecurity, but what can I say… I was young.  It was dumb, and I know that it even hurt Taya’s feelings too - all because of my fragile ego that made me afraid of looking foolish.

 I remember the day, though, when I finally decided that I not only loved that jacket, but that I loved Taya too much to continue to care more about what others might think than I cared about honoring her.  And anyway, why wouldn’t I want to be associated with this lovely girl?  She was charming and beautiful and any man in his right mind should love to be so clearly linked with her.  So I had my jacket on one night as we were getting ready to go into town for a movie when Taya comes downstairs with her jacket on and… I decided, what the heck – I don’t care what anyone thinks.  Or in the words of Will Ferrell in Elf: “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows about it!”

 Something changed that night, and instead of feeling cheesy or self-conscious, I felt proud to wear matching jackets with her, to look like we belonged to each other, to let my appearance clearly indicate my relationship with this girl I loved. I didn’t care what others thought or even if I looked foolish.

 So you see, I’ve come to understand that the fear of being “cheesy” (or in other words, pride) is one of the chief enemies of love. It makes us too self-conscious and circumspect, hindering us from being able to totally surrender to love, making us afraid of losing control and looking undignified. Or in the vernacular of romantic language, it can make us stand so stiff and braced that we never risk getting “swept off of our feet.”

 But one of the tell-tale signs of love is how it can make us lose our cool.  Remember Tom Cruise jumping on the couch on Oprah? As weird as that might have been, there was something beautiful about it to me in that it’s the only time I’ve ever seen Tom Cruise emotionally unguarded. Ever.

 A better example might be when King David returned to Jerusalem with the ark and got so swept up in his ecstasy that he stripped down to his skivvies and danced passionately before the Lord.  Later when his wife shamed him for it, he famously replied: “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes…”

 Ah, the words of a man in love… in this case, a man in love with his Lord. And this is the kind of love that I’m singing about in my song – the kind of love that draws us beyond our pride and self-preservation, sweeps us of our feet, and puts to shame our ideas of dignity and fear of what others think.

 I want to love the Lord with this kind of love, above all else and without regard to what others think, and I want this passion to guide my life. I want to be caught up in the transforming power of it, to be called out of my self-consciousness and fear, to be empowered to take risks and live free of the fear of man.

 Ah our old enemy – the fear of man.  If we insist on making our faith about a system of rule keeping and compliance, we more often than not end up grooming outward holiness that catches the attention of those around us and earns their admiration.  Though it may look respectable, responsible, and dignified, it can conceal a passionless faith that is powerless to change our hearts.  But if our faith is more like falling in love with the Lord, we get to have the best of both worlds: a relationship with God and access to a power and a passion that will help us be obedient.

 Caught up, called out

Come take a look at me now

It’s like I’m falling in love…

 So come, take a look at me now – look at what love has done to me!  Look how foolish I’ve become, and a blessed foolishness at that! Love has caused this mild mannered Minnesotan of Scandinavian descent to raise his hands in the air in worship services, to offer prayers of gratitude before meals in public restaurants, and to spend his life in pursuit of this love at any expense.  Just like my love for my wife made me want to look like her in our matching jackets, my love of Jesus makes me want to look like him, to be associated with him, to wear his name as an adjective on my life and work, to let the whole world know that I’m not ashamed of Jesus or to be a Christian.

 In other words, come take a look at me now! I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows about it….

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