🎶Well if you told me you were drowning,
I would not lend a hand,
I’ve seen your face before my friend,
but I don’t know if you know who I am,
Well I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes,
So you can wipe off that grin,
I know where you’ve been,
It’s all been a pack of lies.🎶
I was driving around listening to Pandora when the song In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins came on. Being one who can often feel emotion in music, I wondered why this song had never hit me like this before. I mean, I’ve heard it hundreds of times! A tear lingered in the corner of my eye as I imagined being the target of those words.
That’s SHAME! I instantly thought to myself! Heavy!
There’s just something captivating about how he sings the song into that electrifying sound machine too. Like it totally grabs you and hits you emotionally.
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord.
Feel what? Maybe the weight of other people’s judgement?!?
Now it’s possible you could google song lyrics and discover exactly what Phil Collins was talking about in this song, but that’s not what my blog is about. I’m one of those “Soundtrack of my Life” people. You know like I’ve got a song that accompanies some of my most powerful encounters.
I recently discovered Enneatypes through a dear friend I share the same Myers Briggs personality type with, and FINALLY understood why music is such a big part of my life; I’m an Enneagram Type 4. So was Prince. No wonder I’m not like everyone else!!
I think this is a song that really gives a name to shame and how our society gets it wrong. Can you imagine seeing a person drowning and your first instinct NOT being to go try to save them because of something they did in their past?
But isn’t that what people do? People are “drowning” all around us. We find out someone died by suicide. Why couldn’t anyone see she was drowning? And that shame thing. What about the “invisible people” among us, the homeless that walk the streets that we won’t even make eye contact with when they stand next to our car with a sign asking for something, anything. He’s drowning.
It’s easy for us to look at these people as isolated incidents, not relevant to us, insignificant. But consider the story told in Luke 15:4-5:
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.”
He doesn’t say “That damn sheep has run off a million times, I’m just going to let him run off the side of the mountain and drown in the lake”. No. He goes after it.
I talk about this concept more in another blog:
But it’s more than that. Ever thought about why that person even crossed your path today? Or why the same person with a shameful past crosses your path EVERY day? Maybe somebody you work with, a family member with an addiction, a neighbor, even, it could be anyone. I look in the mirror and there are days the enemy tries to remind me of shame from my past. I’d still like to think if I ever really needed someone’s help in a desperate kind of way like this song implies, that someone could look past what they know about me and still think I’m worth saving.
A pastor at a church I attended made a powerful statement to the congregation. He said ” It’s great y’all are here developing your faith. But if someone walks through that door who is lost, we’re dropping everything and helping them.”
How does that hit you? As Americans we like to think everything is about us. But sometimes it’s about them. The person or group out there that God is calling you to serve.
A common theme you’ve probably seen running through my blogs is that I find one of the most freeing things about being a Christian is that it’s not MY JOB to judge others. And I can’t love others if I’m keeping a list of their wrongs.
The gift I received when my shame was washed white as snow is a gift everyone deserves. Don’t let them drown!