Picture is Copyright: Jeremy Moore. So don’t steal it, nugget!
I can’t write music, and whenever I write some sort of musical lyric it sounds like Yogi the Bear is waxing eloquent in the park forest. But I’ve got some friends who can write music and sing it in such a way to bring weightiness and beauty home to the heart. Jeremy and I were at a mutual friend’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got a copy of his new EP (you can check out, and you should check out, Jeremy Moore here). All weekend I couldn’t get past the first song, not because it was terrible, but because there was one line in the opening track that I couldn’t shake (or wouldn’t shake me, whichever one). The line goes something like this: “‘Cause I’ll hold your hand when you let go. And I’ll rescue your ship when the wind blows. And I’ll think of you when no one else knows,” (from My Love’s Ghost). I’ll hold your hand when you let go? What? When you let go? Huh? Hit repeat. Listen. Hit repeat. Listen. Hit repeat. The point: Jeremy Moore is on to something, folks, something which transcends this little acoustic track and holds the fragile fabric of the universe together like cosmic glue.
My life is a perpetual letting go. There is not a moment in any day when I’m not, in some way, trying to wrench my hand out of the Hand that holds mine. There is not an instant when I’m not desperately trying to wiggle my way from His grasp or finagle my way out of His clutch. I’d rather have fame than Him. I’d rather have safety than Him. I’d rather have things my way than Him. You name it; I’d rather have it than Him. But I’m reduced when I realize that if He were actually to leave and let go, I would cease to be. Who can live apart from their Maker, Lover, Savior, and Sustainer? Since the day in that first Garden years ago, humanity has been attempting the autonomy which, if gained, would result in its utter unraveling. And while Jeremy’s song is about chasing love that has been lost, the truth and posture of his song analogously reflect the greater truth that there is a Lover who refuses to let his beloved go, a Lover who holds on tight when his beloved wants nothing more than to escape His persistent embrace. This imagery is powerful, and it’s powerful because it’s true.
One of the most potent “marriage” stories in the Scriptures comes from the book of Hosea. Hosea, at the command of the Lord (and to mirror the Lord’s relationship with His people) takes a bride who trashes, again and again, Hosea’s faithfulness and love. But what a beautiful picture of the Lord: “And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD,” (2:19-20). The Lord says this to His faithless bride! His purposes will stand; He will not let her go. And what about this statement? “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them,” (14:4). Heal their apostasy? Love them freely? What? Listen. Hit repeat. Listen. Hit repeat. You can’t read the Bible without this theme slapping you in the face every couple of pages, and it’s a refreshing slap. Of course this theme finds its crescendo in Christ, who “loved us and gave himself up for us, ” (Galatians 5:2) even though His people wanted nothing to do with Him. There are a hundred things every day that we go after, hoping to evade His touch, hoping to run out of the cracked door. But He will have none of it; He loves us too much. His death and resurrection are effectual, and His Spirit invades and doesn’t ask permission. “He who calls you is faithful”, and He will finish what He started (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Thank you, Jeremy Moore, for this reminder.We find imperfect, mirror images here on this planet, but this universe-upholding truth resides in Love Himself. Though we wiggle, struggle, and hate, True Love never lets go. And that’s good news, good enough for me to grasp back at the hand I so often let go of.