This week I was lucky enough to get free tickets to see Kanye West's over-the-top, pyromaniacal concert in Portland. I'm big a fan of a lot of Kanye's music (fun beats and hyper-clever rhymes), but I'm not a fan of his ego trips. This show was definitely confirmation of that.
But we were still lucky to go because it was such a huge spectacle. The show had a spaceship theme (which looked SO cool!) and a story that concluded when Kanye realized he was the biggest star in the universe and that he alone had the power to send his broken spaceship back home... by rapping his most recent radio hit. Umm... yeah.
But in the midst of all the flashing lights, naughty lyrics and ego-mania, Jesus was with me. Yeah, it was kind of a surprise, but it was really cool.
Kanye has one remotely religious song that's called "Jesus Walks." Musically, it was the best-sounding song of the show, which was interesting because it was also the one where God spoke to me. Hopefully it spoke to other people too. The song starts with these lyrics (try to get past the hip hop lingo!):
"Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism,
And most of all we at war with ourselves
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now."
What clicked with me was the phrase "at war with ourselves." Suddenly I realized that I'm not much better than Kanye. I don't show my faults and my pride to the world as extravagantly as he does, but they are there. God knows they are there, I know they are there, and they are wearing me out.
A lot of times I feel like I'm at war with myself, just like good ole Kanye. Because of some weird past experiences, I usually cringe when people talk about spiritual warfare. But as I was boppin' along to the "Jesus Walks" song, I realized that it's good to see some of my own struggles as a war-- they are not to be taken lightly. In many ways, as I work to overcome the weakest parts of my humanity, I am in a spiritual war, and Jesus is with me on it. It's something I've been told my whole life, but it finally sunk in. If Jesus is with me, what can be against me? Nothing, unless I try to face it myself, which is usually pretty ineffective and exhausting.
Kanye kept going:
"To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
(Jesus walks with them)...
Now hear me, hear me, want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary...
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way I need Jesus."
OK, permission to laugh is granted here. I really love those last lines. They're hilarious because they're true. And I'm really grateful that they are.
Charity blogs at caridadthompson.blogspot.com.