What The Church Needs To Hear From Adele

What I love about this song is that it is the therapy that many Christians need in order to be set free from their own internal restlessness. The world for many Christians is a very shut down one. Horrible things happen in life, and many of us neglect our own thoughts or emotions because “good Christians” don’t think or feel negatively about things. All the while, awful things are brewing inside of us. There are many Christians who are dying internally because they refuse to acknowledge this reality that burns inside of all of us. We hold this belief that in order to be good Christians, we have to deny our humanity. Luckily, we don’t have to listen to the dying side of these Christians; we are able to look into the Hebrew scriptures and find that God seems to accept our violent laments:

Psalms 58:
6 Break off their fangs, O God!
Smash the jaws of these lions, O LORD!
7 May they disappear like water into thirsty ground.
Make their weapons useless in their hands.
8 May they be like snails that dissolve into slime,
like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
9 God will sweep them away, both young and old,
faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.

The truth is that it is probably not good to think these and feel these things (although that’s inevitable). We, in our dualistic either/or western mindset are often left with two thoughts: A. Get revenge B. Repress it. If Adele did A, she’d probably be in jail. We’d probably hear about murder charges and her music career would be over. Or, she could do B, in which we would have never heard these songs. Good people don’t sing songs like this. Instead, the healthy way of healing is to get it out without resorting to revenge. So we throw cups, plates, glasses against the wall. We curse into our pillows. We hit things (not people). We write songs. God tells us to hand the two options over to him. He’ll destroy them and lead us through our valley of the shadow of death. He will find the creative third way to mend life. Third ways we see demonstrated through Jesus (turning the cheek, walking the extra mile, giving them all of your clothes, etc…). We cannot deny our humanity. Instead, we must find a way to endure our humanity without dehumanizing someone else. If we can’t learn to lament our anger, our sadness, we will continue the destructive acts that, unfortunately, Christianity has become famous for.


2 thoughts on “What The Church Needs To Hear From Adele

  1. One of the best concepts I learned in seminary was “grieving the loss”. rather than buck up, move on too fast and allow that grief to manifest itself years later in unhealthy ways, just grieve. sit there in the emotion that you are feeling and EXPERIENCE it.

    it has helped me immensely.

  2. I agree, Stephanie. One of the most helpful and life-changing things I’ve come to realize over the past few years is that despite what we seem to always be told, sad is not always bad. God can teach us a lot about ourselves, our world and his heart in the dark places. So instead of seeing pain as something to pull ourselves out of and move beyond as quickly as possible, it helps to experience the emotion (for a while), ask God what his truth is in the situation and look for what we could be learning or where we could be growing before rushing back to “happy.”

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