Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hole Hearted

This song had a HUGE impact on my life in early 1991. I had the album (in the form of a cassette tape) that this song from Extreme appears on. The cassette is called Pornograffitti.  Most of the songs on the album do not contain what anyone would call "spiritual" or "Christian" lyrics by any stretch of the imagination.  :)  But at the end of the tape, the two final songs seemed to have a "sobering" affect on me.  Both Song for Love and Hole Hearted would melt my heart during that last year before I truly began my walk with Christ.

A sample of the Song for Love lyrics:
These walls of hate
That separate one from the other
Time to rebuild
Bridges of love
One to another
Come on, let's sing a song

A song for you
A song for me
A song for love

All for one and one for all together
Singing a song for love
You and I are none without the other
Singing a song for love
The entire song is great.  But it was really Hole Hearted that played a huge part in the change that eventually occurred in my life, a year later.  Long story short, I've "always" been a believer.  As far back as I can remember in life, back to my childhood, I've believed in Jesus.  But somewhere along the line, I got the fallacious idea that a relationship with Him was based upon my behavior.  And since my teenage years were pretty much identified with partying and other things that "I'm not supposed to do," I never felt that I could have a close relationship with God until I somehow got my act together.

I did believe that it was only through God Himself that I could ever actually do that, which holds a grain of truth but yet kept me in the erroneous thinking that I had to keep on waiting and waiting and waiting for the day that the Lord would miraculously start making me "live right," and then I'd finally be able to have a relationship with Him.

And so "Hole Hearted" comes along:
Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I'm not blind, why can't I see
That a circle can't fit where a square should be

There's a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you
And this hole in my heart can't be filled with the things I do
As I said, this song melted my heart.  I was taking part time courses at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids, which was about 80 miles from my home in Waverly, and I drove there 2 or 3 times per week.  I can quite vividly remember listening to this tape on my drive a few times, and balling my eyes out when this song came on.  The Lord was definitely calling me in a way like I'd never known.

And yet I still had this false understanding that I couldn't truly know the Lord until my behavior changed.  At the time, the lyrics "And this hole in my heart can't be filled with the things I do" meant to me that I couldn't really have a relationship with the Lord until I stopped doing the "wrong" things and started doing what was "right."

Well, years have gone by since that time, and since then I've come to realize that one thing really is true.  The "hole in my heart" can't be filled with the things I do.  However, that doesn't only apply to the "wrong" things that I do.  It also applies to the "good" that I try to do in order to try to maintain a relationship with God.  As a "committed Christian," even the good stuff that I would try to do to please the Lord and maintain a good standing with Him would still never fill any void that I felt.  The song - or at least my interpretation of it - was only half right.

I can never be fulfilled through the foolish and sinful choices I make in life.  In that respect, a circle can never fit where a square should be.  It's simply the truth.  But it's equally as true that whatever I try to do within my own strength to keep myself "right" with God can also never bring true fulfillment.  The only thing that can truly make all the pieces fit has absolutely nothing to do with my behavior.  It has only to do with knowing the unconditional love and grace of God, not so much as a doctrine, but truly knowing Him.  The only time the pieces fit is when I throw out the circles and squares and I simply rest in Him.

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