So as a 30-year-old, VERY white, rural-raised and rural-serving pastor, I am finally getting into hip-hop.
Really. I’ve listened to DAMN. quite a few times, HNDRXX and FUTURE have made it into my rotation, and obviously Coloring Book and Awaken, My Love have been listened more than is rational because I’m a white guy just now getting into hip-hop.
(Note: I believe Awaken, My Love is one of the greatest albums ever released, and it will age like Abbey Road and Kind of Blue. But again, super-white and super-uncool.)
I found myself listening to Logic’s Everybody and specifically “Confess” with Killer Mike last night and the speech that Killer Mike does at the end of the song stopped me cold.
The whole song is wonderful (if rough and clearly NSFW) but here’s the speech in question.
Lines like this just dig so deep into everything that I am thought in my doubts and my struggles:
But tonight, I am in this church
Asking you to show yourself, to reveal yourself to me
Because I’m tired and I don’t know what else to do
– Killer Mike
Go right to Thomas. Go right to any prayer that goes unanswered. Go right to begging God to save the body and life of the people you love most, and God not giving you a “Yes.” to that prayer. Go right to seeing violence and hatred and the powerful forgetting God and believing in their own divinity while the weak yet faithful are sacrificed and slaughtered. Go right to see the new nation of South Sudan tear itself apart, like so many other African nations.
Go right to a world covered in darkness after that glorious Easter event, and tell me you don’t want to scream those exact words at God.
Killer Mike captured Job, captured the Samaritan woman at the well, captured Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, captured every pained cry every hospital and hospice everywhere.
If only I could have that much vulnerability in the pulpit. How much more powerful would our preaching be if those words – universal words of pain and doubt – would not just come from our lips as we deliver God’s Word, but be a norm of our preaching? How much closer would I be with the people I serve if that sort of vulnerability would so effectively come from my tongue in the pulpit?
So if you out there, do something about this
‘Cause I can’t take it no more
– Killer Mike
That’s soul-baring prayer. That’s bringing everything to God, out loud, not hiding behind being proper or PC, but just brining everything to God.
May I be that vulnerable.