So we’re riding back on the bus from a choir concert, this blond boy and I, and we both have our headphones in – he, because he wants to listen to music; me, because I have no one to talk to. I’m listening to Rend Collective loud, only one earbud in, only half listening, just in case anyone says something.
The kids in the back of the bus start to sing, and the boy next to me sings along too. I catch a few words, and I whisper to my friend behind me under my breath, “Oh– it’s not good music! It’s such a bad influence!” I don’t mean for anyone to hear me say that, not really; but I’ve hardly ever heard this kind of music before, with lyrics that make me wince, and I don’t like it.
But the boy next to me overhears something, and he turns, pulling off his headphones. “What?”
“She says it’s a bad influence,” my friend repeats. “Music like this. But you’re a good kid.”
“Oh, it’s a terrible influence,” he says. “Terrible. But I’m a good kid.”
I nod unenthusiastically. He puts his headphones back on.
Liz Curtis Higgs wrote about it over here, about the young man who came to Jesus, the one who had kept all the commandments since he was a child. “I have kept all these things,” he says. In other words, “I’m a good kid!”
It breaks my heart.
I prayed this summer that God would break my heart for what breaks His. I think he’s doing it, because last year I wouldn’t have cried after a conversation like that.
The advertisement before the video I linked right there? It advertised the author of a book called “Good Without God.” Mark quotes Jesus in his gospel: “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.” (I think Liz used that verse in her article as well.)
It’s a logical impossibility: you can’t not have God and be good.
I pray so often that He’ll give me the chance to tell that boy about Jesus, who came so we don’t have to try to be good. Because to think of him, that smiling choir kid, twenty years from now, having continued down the path he’s on? It breaks my heart.
I prayed that day of the choir concert that we’d become friends somehow; and we ended up getting the last seat in the bus, and introducing ourselves and talking a little – so yeah, I think God is doing something.