21 Nov "Mockingbird": A Dialogue
(vs. 1) there are days i don’t believe the words i say / like a life that i’m not living / a song that i’m not singing but to you / there are times that i believe i’m satisfied / like an intimate connection / despite this bad reception with you
Webb’s honesty hits us right in the face from the get-go. This is one of the things that I appreciate about his work and lyrics. The things that we think (or should think) are brought out into the open and we are made to file these things in our drawer of conviction or avoidance. How many times have you felt dry early in the morning with your cup of coffee and Bible or late in the evening in a Bible study and wondered what in the world you are doing? None? Oftentimes I have felt the inertia of sin keeping me from moving forward, from being so convinced that nothing could hold me back from declairng the Truth.
Call it fear of man, sometimes it’s just laziness and darkness in my own heart. There are days…there are weeks…there are lifetimes when Christians don’t grasp the pervasiveness and repercussions of their worldview. God became flesh and dwelt among us – this has implications for the entire world of sinners. I am writing a paper on Pluralism now and have found it amazing that even John Hick believes that IF the Incarnation (as defined by Orthodoxy) is true, then the entire world must swear allegiance to this King.
As a Christian, I know that God took on flesh to redeem for himself a people. Because this is true my life should be utterly different than before. I look around and see so many Christians whimpering in a corner and tucking their tale in their legs and scampering away from intellectual battles and philosophical conundrums. The Creator of logic, philosophy, and reason has revealed to us all that we need in his written Word…we must be fully convinced. There is no 99.999% sure that the things we profess are true.
This is one of things that led to my conversion. I claimed to be a Christian and was hit with the fact that this Truth had no bearing on my life. I spoke but did not live by action. What a farce!
How whimsical and fickle are we finites. There are other days when we feel warm and fuzzies… how do you sift through all these emotions save through the Word of God.
(pre-chorus) because i can’t afford to pay / for most of what i say / so it’s a lucky thing / that the truth’s public domain /
(chorus) and i am like a mockingbird / i’ve got no new song to sing / and i am like an amplifier / i just tell you what i’ve heard / oh, i’m like a mockingbird
Here it seems that Webb believes his words are truth. What a haughty claim…unless it is true. So it is with us, Christian, we have nothing new to offer the world. Evangelicalism speaks of a ‘relationship with Jesus,’ ‘contextualizing’ the Gospel, ‘meeting people where they are,’ and the like. This is fine to a point. But when we start to add things to what has alreayd been stated by our Maker we rebel. We may not add a thing to his Word. So, in truth, we are mockingbirds.
It is a shame that much of what we echo is not God’s Word but slogans and pithy statements that don’t amount to much in light of eternity.
(vs. 2) and yes, it’s true that i need this more than you / like one whose name is many / have mercy, please don’t send me away /
(pre-chorus) and i’ll do all i can / to be a better man / oh i’ll clean up this act / and be worse than we started / (chorus)
What a beautiful turn of phrase around the pivot of God’s sovereignty. In reference to Revelation and Isaiah where Messiah is attributed with a myriad of names -signifying his Rule over all – Webb recognnizes that the One who has plucked him from the fire is the One who will keep him in his good pleasure. None of this, I left the faith. There is a hand that holds you, dear Christian. Be real. Be frail. Know that you are a sheep who responds to the Voice of the Shepherd.
What happens if you try and fix yourself rather than plead for mercy? You become a white-washed tomb. It is not by you might alone that you are cleansed from sin. It is the Lord’s hand who takes the coal and purifies your mocking lips. We work harder than anyone, but it is not us but the grace of God that empowers us and gives us the desire to obey (1Cor 15.10; cf Phil 2.13).