I got a call this morning from a friend who saw something on the replay of the Olympics that I just had to see. With about three clicks of a mouse, I found myself staring at video highlights of last night’s Women’s Snowboarding Half Pipe competition.
There, for all the world to see and hear, was US Olympic snow boarder Kelly Clark, ready to drop into the pipe. She had a smile on her face, white earbuds in her ears, and a song on her lips. With that loud voice that we all reserve for the times we’re singing with earbuds in, she was singing “You shall love me….You shall love me…”.
Interesting. Doubly interesting because the lyrics and melody matched the song written by IHOP-KC’s Misty Edwards.
She was still singing as she started her run. Once into the first trick you couldn’t tell if she was singing or not, but her performance music kicked in – Kim Walker’s “Heaven is Here.” (video link at right)
For the uninitiated, this is not your basic CCM plastic special from the Nashville Sound Factory. This music is little obscure by chart standards (although Misty did break huge on iTunes’ top 100/all genres for a while after a recent release). My point is not about sales, it’s about the fact that you can’t interpret these songs as a whole as about anything other than Jesus. They’re not about generic love or something you might feel for your soul mate – they are in your face lyrics about the cross and life in Christ.
Later I watched Kelly’s profile on NBC. There she was, talking openly – not weirdly, but openly – about coming to God, she held her snowboard up, prominently displaying the message airbrushed on the bottom that said “JESUS -I CANNOT HIDE MY LOVE”. (video link at left)
And so I lost it for a little bit. Yeah, I cried. Then I cried when I told my wife. And then I cried again as I drove to a meeting. I cried because someone’s life has been so touched. And I cried because that someone has melded their faith into their every day life in such a way as to present it as normal. This boarder is not weird, she’s not condemning…she’s provoking.
There is within me a prophetic/evangelistic chip that does not play well with much of what we consider evangelism and yearns to explore another way. One that says to those who meet us “This is who I am…” and who we are draws people to Love.
Kelly, you won the bronze last night, but you are buying gold refined in the fire.
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