It's amazing how music can stir our souls, isn't it? Music can refresh and energize us; it can calm and relax us. Music is tied to memories (which I think is the main reason that I continue to listen to and enjoy Abba and Stryper), and it can help us connect to God when our hearts are hard.
Music often reminds me of the Gospel and of the love of God. One of the most surprising songs that does this is That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morrisette. It's a song that both lyrically and musically expresses the longing to be accepted, to be OK, even if everything that we think is wrong with us never really gets fixed. I think it's the cry of every heart apart from Christ, a cry that gets expressed in lots of different ways depending on the person. I think that it is funny that I hear the Gospel in this song, because it doesn't have a redemptive end where everything gets fixed and solved. The longing to be good seems like wishful thinking, something that would be nice if it could ever happen.
But for the person who is rooted and grounded in the forgiveness of God and the acceptance that is given through Christ's life in us, this song really is a signpost that points to the goodness of God. As the song reveals our brokenness, all the ways that we have tried to make life work and failed, the Spirit speaks into those places and reminds us that in Christ, we are good. In Christ, we are accepted just as we are. In Christ we are loved and we have access to the only life that will satisfy our souls.
It's been almost 10 years now since I first heard this song, and yet it still points me to the One who is good and who gives His goodness freely to us, no strings attached.
That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette
That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
That I would be fine even even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing
That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy
That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be goodWhether with or without you