Disclaimer: We're about to get weird...Jesus freaky weird. You have permission to call me crazy after this post. My college roomates nicknamed me "Crazy" in 2004, so I'm comfortable with it. One of the best compliments I ever received was when I overhead my best friend say, "Lisamarie is crazy until you catch a glimpse of something you can't deny, and then it's too late and you're in. You're running into the ocean in the middle of the night, or hiding in a bush, or climbing a tree and you can't remember why...but why isn't really the point. The point is to run into the ocean at midnight." What's coming is one of those things I can't deny, one of those things that makes me want to run into the ocean...
The David Crowder Band recorded a song written by John Mark McMillan, called "How He Loves." It's possibily the most raw, real, and vulnerable song I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it...I'm warning you, you may never be the same. I'm not.
In the first five minutes of this video, John Mark talks about how this song was born. This is a crazy story if I've ever heard one, and this video is worth your time.
For me, what's radical about "How He Loves" is that the song didn't captivate me the first time I heard it, or the second, or the third. This song came for me when I needed it, and it hasn't let go.
One night last year at New Denver Church, our worship leader, Brian Davis played it out for us. Something broke inside in me that night, and the song opened my heart. I don't mean a born again moment, my belief has been with me longer than I can remember. But ever since that night, this song has been able to cut through any anger, resentment, and frustration I've had with the Lord.
Every time, I think this time...the circumstances are just a little too big for me to come out of this still trusting in the You, Lord. But every single time without exception, I listen to David Crowder's version of "How He Loves" and I'm reassured that even though this is NOT the way I want it to look, God still has the best plan.
This year has been the greatest year of my life, it's also been the hardest year of my life. I've never been so alive, but I've also never been so challenged. And this year, I needed this song. As grace would have it, I have the recording from that night:
Last Friday night, from the front row of the Ogden, I had the privilege of watching John Mark McMillan, David Crowder, and Gungor perform "How He Loves." It was incredible.
For David Crowder and John Mark, thanks for leaving me captivated, inspired, and changed. This song has been a gift I want to give away to anyone who will listen. Thanks for writing and recording a song that must be the enemy's least favorite song, ever. Thanks for teaching me to run into a different type of ocean...an ocean of grace.
For Steven who died with a heart burning for the youth of our generation, let's risk the ocean. Let's try to make heaven meet earth everyday. Let's raise up a generation that seeks to understand how God loves, lives for the way that He loves us, and reflects it back into the world.
This is hard. It's not the way I live and it's not the way that I love. As John Mark has said, "this is NOT a hot pink hollywood kind of love." This is a love that takes messy broken people, and messy broken lives and makes them radiate like the dawn. This is a love worth failing for, a love worth changing for, a love worth letting go for, a love worth risking just trusting for. It might be three days, it might be three years, but eventually...this is a love that wins.
He Loves us, He promises...Love wins.