10
May
10

better than a hallelujah (about real honesty)

My dear wife Jeannette keeps accusing me of stealing songs she tells me about and blogging about them. She may or may not have a point (…), but since I’ve been listening to this new song 20 times today, I still thought it would be okay to blog about it, and she’ll just have to get the credit as one of my primary sources of inspiration 🙂

What a majestic song Better Than A Hallelujah is. It’s written by the two ladies Sarah Hart and Chapin Hartford and performed by Amy Grant in her first Christian radio single in seven years. The lyrics of it resonated straight away in deep places of my inner being:

God loves a lullaby in a mother’s tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
God loves a drunkard’s cry, the soldier’s plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries, of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

A woman holding on for life, a dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
Tears of shame for what’s been done
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out


I love the expression of the deep truth that  a true, intimate relationship with Jesus has so much more to do with just being open, honest, raw and real with him than it’s about singing, dancing, or doing stuff for him.

I love the truth that’s being expressed that our mess is, somehow and for reasons we can hardly fathom, beautiful to God. What we may deem as unworthy whining and complaining, he hears as honest worship and relationship.

God loves for us to approach him as naked as we dare to be. He invites us to an open, honest relationship with him. One where we come to him without promises (I will do this and this) or excuses (I will never do this and this). Just come the way you are. Approach the throne of grace with the confidence (Hebrews 4:16) that comes from knowing that it’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be on your journey. It’s okay to be a mess. God loves messes. His love shines the brightest through our messes. Contrary to popular opinion in and outside of the church life is not about being well put together and be in control. God loves his messes, where he can freely shine through. He gathers your tears, he hears your cries, he longs for the intimacy of hearing you pour out whatever is inside of you – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

God has invited me deeper into this kind of relationship with him the past many years. At first I was hesitant. I feared that it would be irreverent to be brutally honest with him. He is God, after all. I also thought that I had to censor my words to him. Then a day came where God in a divine-stating-the-obvious-moment told me that he knows all my thoughts and feelings already, so I really don’t have to bother censoring anything.

I looked around me and saw few people who dared to go to the deep places with him. And I was afraid that I just fooling myself, that he wasn’t really calling me. But he is calling me to a deep, honest, real, messy, fun, crazy, exciting, insane, frustrating, but never boring relationship with him. The call is there. Do we dare respond in honest ways, or are you contend singing nice songs about God and his love (even though you don’t believe them), pray polite prayers (even though you’ve forgotten why you pray), accept lies you believe about him and yourself (even though they make your life and your relationships shallow and empty), and just try to make it through life acting, pretending and keeping up good, religious appearances?

Blessings, Torben – Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts, are better than a hallelujah!

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3 Responses to “better than a hallelujah (about real honesty)”


  1. 1 Donna
    May 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Torbin,
    Your words and the words to this song are the truths that must be shared with those who have lost their way, as they seek an intimate, loving relationship with God. Religion has clouded our perception of what the Lord really wants and what He is able to do with our hurts and pain. As I read your blog I cried…tears of understanding, tears of agreement and tears of thankfulness that our wonderful, loving Father desires for us to run to Him. He indeed is the God of All Comfort. Jesus gave us a gift of access and understanding.
    love to you and Jeannette
    DK

  2. May 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    hi
    i am glad i found this blog.

    you had written a comment on a nother blog i stumbled across, and it linked through. look forwards to reading more.

    Fragz

  3. 3 MICHAEL
    February 12, 2011 at 2:26 am

    I, too, found this song majestic and moving, and played it many time, often with tears, when I first watched the video. it’s the video, however, that leaves me pondering — for only practical temporal reasons. I’m trying to discern the plot line, but seem to be hard pressed to explain what the old man — Bill Evans — is doing tracking down his wife? love? Can someone explain this to me? Thanks.


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