The Entry posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008…

“The Thing I Treasure Most in Life Cannot be Taken Away”

I tend to think in song lyrics quite often when I’m not focusing on anything in particular. The words will shoot through my mind and trigger thoughts and the thoughts will trigger more lyrics and the cycle keeps going until I choose to actively pursue one thought. The lyric that has now transformed into the title of this entry flew across my mind when I was in the car with my parents this afternoon on a trip to the lovely warehouse giant Costco.”The thing I treasure most in life cannot be taken away…”

That’s the line that booms the most as David Draiman sings the chorus to Disturbed’s spirited “I’m Alive.” Of course Draiman is singing about his music, but to me the words resonate in a different direction. They brought to mind a conversation I had with an individual I used to call a friend, but eventually our inability to see eye-to-eye on some fundamental issues pushed me to the point where I had to walk away from the friendship. I do not write that sentence with ease. I find it nearly impossible to leave someone I have come to care about no matter how much that individual may hurt me, but with him, I had to stand my ground.He is an atheist and I live by my faith. My faith is who I am in so many ways. But that difference didn’t stop me from becoming his friend. Whenever he would marvel about my caring nature I’d explain to him that I am the way I am because of what I believe. He never agreed and we would argue to no avail about it. One day I was explaining to him the Christian ideal of an endless love that gives more than what is asked, a love that stands insult and then turns the other cheek to face injury. I explained to him why I was ready to drop everything on a moment’s notice to do what someone asks of me.

So in response to that he looked me dead in the eye and asked, “Would you take off your cross and not wear it around me if I asked?”

Without hesitating for a second I found myself literally scoffing at him and practically yelling “No!” incredulously.

He thought he had won some battle of wits, but it just really became clear how little he listened. How could I remove the source of the love from around my neck? My cross is the very source of what I was telling him. If you destroy a tree’s roots, it cannot stand. If you take the cross and the faith away from the girl, she cannot love.

*******

Months from writing this entry I look back on it and think that simply yelling “No!” to the question I was asked about taking off the cross I wear around my neck was just not enough. I don’t know what would have been enough, but I do know that what was said in the Epistle to the Hebrews now comes to my mind: “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4). Draiman manages to hit the nail on the head with his lyrics which echo this verse. He writes and sings “You’ll never take me alive…” If he can sing with such passion and fervor about his music then how pitiful am I for simply saying “No!” when asked to remove the cross from around my neck as a show of my love. I thought I had done well then, but now I know there was so much more to say and so much more to do.

Perhaps I can take a lesson from the rock star…

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