A sweet friend of mine invited me to a Relient K concert the other night. It was awesome; a throwback to high school days of jumping up and down and dancing to Sadie Hawkins and laughing about being one of those emotional girls who should probably wear a mood ring. (Look up those songs.)
Relient K is an awesome band; it was the tenth anniversary of their CD MmHmm, so they decided to do a tour. They played the CD in its original order and it was incredibly fun.
They are one of those rare bands that has an incredibly wide and varied fan base. They are a Christian rock/punk band whose fans range from the conservative-homeschooled type to the sailor-mouthed punk kids (those people were standing on either side of me, FYI).
The reason, I think, that they attract such a wide range of fans is because their lyrics powerfully narrate the human experience, giving language to what everyone is feeling.
And this life sentence that I’m serving
I admit that I’m every bit deserving
But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair
I fought You for so long
I should have let You in
Oh how we regret those things we do
And all I was trying to do was save my own skin
But so were You
“Be My Escape”
I’m sorry for the person I became.
I’m sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I’m ready to be sure I never become that way again
’cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
“Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”
When I got tired of running from you
I stopped right there to catch my breath
There your words they caught my ears
You said, “I miss you son. Come home”
And my sins, they watched me leave
And in my heart I so believed
The love you felt for me was more than
The love I’d wished for all this time
“I So Hate Consequences”
Not only do their words paint a picture of our human experience but they embody deep, profound truth. I stopped several times throughout the concert to look around at all these different people singing along to every word – expressing the desire for love, the reality of our sin, and the way God wants to transform our lives if we would only let Him.
Besides the fun of being transformed into the giggly-teeny-bopper version of myself, part of me ached for the people around me. And part of me was intrigued. (Especially with the crazy girl next to me who I worried might elbow me in the face, who, after a guy angrily walked away after she dance-crashed into him like ten times, turned to us and said, “Wasn’t that guy a $&*$#&*?” Yeah, especially her.) I wondered about these people who knew every single word of these songs, who so clearly resonated with the desire to be found, but are so obviously lost.
The reason Relient K’s lyrics resonate so deeply with people is because they encompass the truth of our lives. The reason people remember ever word is because they are singing what our hearts actually long for.
They express the need for the Gospel. Our desire to be loved, to be welcomed home, to belong. I was struck by the fact that these desires don’t have to go unmet. My friend and I sat in the car afterwards and wondered, “Do they know?! Do they understand?” The Truth is out there, waiting for you. God your Father, Creator, Redeemer – is waiting for you. He speaks that truth: “I miss you son. Come home.” He is the answer to the human condition. We don’t like who we’ve been, because who we’ve been is broken. We see that grace makes life unfair because it offers forgiveness and wholeness to us when we don’t deserve it in any form or fashion.
All these ramblings are simply to say, we resonate with the words of talented songwriters like Relient K because our lives are filled with an emptiness that can only be filled by the love and grace of God. I am thankful that people care enough to sing these words, and hope that it encourages people to seek Truth.