Saturday, January 22, 2011

True Confessions

Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Ephesians 4.24-25)

Standards and Variations

The jazz subculture has fascinated me for years. It’s a nocturnal world that welcomes visitors from the dayside with warm hospitality, yet adamantly keeps to itself. When it’s my treat to enter its sphere—the cracker-box clubs and all-night diners where musicians unwind after their gigs—I’m always struck by how differently what I see and hear looks and sounds to the regulars who graciously let me tag along. The music has much to do with this, I think. It shines brightest in its comfort with standards and variations, as artists display their imagination and range by reshaping melodies from a fairly limited repertoire of classics. The same impulse slips into everyday life. Every jazz musician I know makes ordinary language, fashion, and living distinctively his/her own. Being is an art unto itself; it frames all that they think, say, and do. So when I heard the story of Billy Tipton—a jazzman in the 1940’s and ‘50’s—although it shocked me at first, the more I thought about it the less surprising it seemed.

Billy Tipton started life in 1914 as Dorothy, the daughter of Oklahoma parents. After the couple divorced, she lived with an aunt in Missouri, where her musical gifts blossomed, despite the local school’s policy barring girls from its band. She returned to Oklahoma, looking for work with jazz bands, which was scarce for women at the time. In 1933, she invented a male alter ego, Billy, whose talent placed him in high demand. The strains of a double life rapidly mounted until Dorothy vanished altogether in 1940 so Billy could grow and succeed. Switching sexes was a pragmatic decision rather than a psychological imperative. If her ruse came to light, her peers might reject her. Her gifts would have no expressive outlet. To be herself—her highest self—Dorothy took on a new self. It was a feat of self-denial unlike any other. After Billy’s death in 1989 revealed his origins, Dorothy reemerged as a cult heroine among jazz artists and aficionados. They disputed tabloid accusations of “lifelong deception” by insisting Dorothy went to such extremes in order to tell the truth of who she was—an artist of extraordinary imagination and range whose whole life was a variation on a standard. How they saw it, the lengths she went to in joining their community confirmed her membership in it.

Our True Selves

Stories like this, about people whose determination to honor their calling gives rise to incredible courage and commitment, remind us our true selves—the beings created in God’s image for God’s purpose—can’t be defined by objective criteria and generalizations. At some point, who we’ve been told (and assumed) we are bumps into the reality of who we’re made to be. As we learn to appreciate the singularity of our making, we understand our lives are meant to be variations on standards. In addition to gifts and traits God instills us, where God places us, and when God puts us there, God also endows us with imagination and range to create something novel and unique from familiar, frequently reinterpreted material. Gratefully, few of us confront challenges requiring extreme measures like those Dorothy Tipton took. Still, I believe each of us arrives at a moment when our beings beckon us to witness their creation through God-given talents we possess. Though some may experience this as epiphany, it’s a pragmatic decision for most. Confessing the truthfulness of who we are secures our means to express all that we are. It rids self-perception of objective definitions to see ourselves like God sees us, as individually crafted and empowered reflections of God’s nature and creativity.

In Ephesians 4, Paul coins a marvelous nomenclature for this transformation, explained in verses 22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self… to be made new in the attitudes of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Newness begins by embracing new attitudes about who we are. It asks great courage and commitment, because thinking differently inevitably leads to swimming against the tide. From an early age, we’re surrounded by assumptions that inhibit and infect our true selves. We live in a world of vast structures and systems that reward conformity and discourage uniqueness. Years of hearing “that’s how it is” dulls our imaginations to all we’re meant to be. Sooner than we’re aware, we’re estranged from the beings God made. We lose touch with God’s purpose and adopt human pursuits that promise fulfillment, security, and success. Thus, exchanging the old self for a new one is basically reclaiming the true self buried by conformity’s pretenses.

Need for Our Gifts

Such an undertaking seems so enormous, after we embrace new attitudes about ourselves, we don’t know what’s next. Paul’s got some sound advice on this, too. In verse 25, he writes, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” The true confession that starts with us expands to true confessions to others. By living and speaking truthfully, we invite them to witness our beings’ creation. We take stock of every talent and trait we possess and express them all to our fullest capability. For instance, if God placed in us a gift for kindness, our words and actions honor that gift without fear or reservation. And it’s essential we remember the reason we do this immunizes us from others’ responses or opinions. As Dorothy Tipton’s story clearly points out, human favor is fickle. People and communities that won’t tolerate our variations one day may celebrate them the next. On the other hand, praise and acceptance we received yesterday isn't guaranteed to last through today. Staying true to ourselves—our highest selves—is its own reward.

When the new self confesses its existence to others, it rejects conformity’s pretenses and barriers. Negativity becomes a positive by broadening our imaginations and range as we seek opportunities where the need for our gifts will make us welcome. That’s how we discover God’s place for us. That’s how we fulfill God’s purpose. “We are all members of one body,” Paul says. As with our physical bodies, everything God gives us is designed for use. We’re created to contribute to a greater whole. Burying our true selves beneath fears and reservations makes us useless to the Body of Christ. We cripple its potential to restore compassion, peace, and justice to a world enthralled by hatred, conflict, and oppression. Here’s a variation on an old standard: True confessions are good for the whole.

God instilled unique talents and traits in us and placed us here for a unique purpose. Exchanging our old selves for new ones reclaims our true selves buried under conformity’s pretenses.

Postscript: A Chance to Revisit

Business and family obligations call me away for the next 12 days, which gives us a chance to revisit a few posts you may not have caught the first time around. With over 700 to choose from, I hope to find ones that either directly tie to the daily readings or contribute to their themes. As always, I’ll check for your comments and respond as quickly as I can. Hold me in your thoughts and prayers while I’m away. I’ll do likewise for you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too Slick to Handle

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5.29-30)

(Longer than I’d like… about a passage NOBODY likes.)

Black Ice

That Ephesians 5 turns up in the daily readings just as “black ice” warnings peak is a rich irony indeed. The euphemism refers to thin sheets of ice frozen atop pavement. It’s not really black. It’s invisible. Artificial light penetrates the icy layer, making it imperceptible to motorists and pedestrians until they lose traction and often don’t have time to slow down before losing control. Yesterday, I awoke in an Indianapolis hotel room, turned on the news, and learned two highways had been closed due to black-ice collisions. Then I opened today’s readings, and when I got to Ephesians 5.22 (“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord”), I could see spinouts and crashes everywhere. Paul’s “Instructions to Christian Households” (as the NIV coyly labels it) is, without doubt, among the most treacherous of New Testament passages. Even when we cautiously inch across it, probability we’ll be rattled runs very high. The thin metaphor frosted atop Paul’s underlying message is simply too slick to handle.

Modern readers who successfully navigate this perilous patch are no less shaken than those who impulsively hit their brakes and careen into trouble. What persuades Paul that marriage—which he presents as an inherently inequitable arrangement—is the most apt means of conveying Christ’s unparalleled love and our duty to one another? The gender disparity he takes for granted is (let’s not mince words) rank. He tells wives to submit to their husbands “as the church submits to Christ,” (v24) and instructs husbands to love their wives “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (v25) She submits; he loves. She answers to him; he oversees her. She’s “the Church;” he’s “Christ.” Ugh. A passing mention would be plenty to send us reeling. But, for some reason, Paul won’t let it go. He spends 11 verses (22-33) banging on his comparison, reiterating the same point again and again, doing a more egregious job of it each time. It’s no wonder feminist and equality-minded Christians—which should be all of us—dismiss his hoary idea outright. Meanwhile, LGBT believers don’t know what to make of it, as the metaphor holds no resonance with same-sex unions.

The Benefit of the Doubt

With flares going up like caution signals around black ice, do we back up and search for a safer detour to the same end—i.e., Christ's great love for us, our equality as believers, and our responsibility to care for one another? We can. The epistles contain numerous passages stressing this doctrine. But since we’re already here, it may be worthwhile to throw some road salt at Paul's slick patch, melt the ice, and regain our traction. Beneath its sexist surface lies a remarkable observation about Christ’s care for every believer. Read verses 29 and 30 with an open mind: “After all no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.”

Stripping Paul’s point of its infamous framework requires grace on our part. We’re in the odd position of doing for him what he constantly urges us to do for less astute believers. Rather than take offense, we offer patience and understanding. (Poor Paul. His refusal to quit his sorry metaphor proves he’s in over his head. We’ve all been there, done that, have we not?) So, in the spirit of Christ-like charity, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Why? First, we know he’s convinced Christ's sacrifice destroyed social, ethnic, and gender barriers. His passion for equality crystallizes in Galatians 3.28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Second, our revulsion at Paul’s misogynist slant holds him to a cultural standard completely alien to his time. What we’re asking of him via hindsight exceeds his experience.

Unconventional, Unmerited Passion

For argument’s sake, though, let’s suppose Paul foresees the day when gender equality gains acceptance. Does he also foresee his letters surviving centuries needed to achieve that? If so, will the Ephesians comprehend his prescient vision of equality? Paul never indicates he’s consciously writing for the ages. And were his metaphor to reflect our times, his readers wouldn’t get it. Ancient marriages aren’t built on love and respect. They’re contracts families enter into for perpetuity (or acquisition) of wealth and lineage. Daughters are bartering chips traded by parents with little thought to their happiness. Their sole obligation centers on submitting to their husbands’ demands. Should a wife displease her husband, he can break the contract and keep her dowry as a severance fee. He’s free to remarry; her options are few to none. Lost virginity stamps her as “used” and her lost dowry hobbles her family’s ability to muster another, notably more costly one to offset her tarnished appeal.

Once we’re reminded of the dehumanizing aspects of first-century matrimony, as well as Paul’s commitment to social equality evidenced elsewhere, we may want to reassess our response to this passage. Our knee-jerk reaction may be the problem. Spinning out on the passage's slick surface, we may get so turned around we come at it backwards, assuming marriage is the topic and Christ's Body the metaphor. When we regain our bearings, however, we realize Paul's not misusing the Church’s relationship with Christ to advocate sexism. In fact, he's not talking about marriage at all. He's evoking the most commonplace, conventional union of his day to heighten our awareness of Christ’s singularly unconventional passion for us—women and men alike.

Loved by Choice

Don’t worry if all of this makes you itchy under the collar. You’re not alone; I’m close to breaking our in a rash myself, as this next curve risks total wipeout. (Hold on tight now.) Since Paul knows no congregation better than the Ephesians, it’s doubtful his metaphor troubles them; he specifically chose it for them. Yet if they are outraged by anything, it’s not his diminution of women. It's his conviction that husbands should love their wives! Instructing Ephesian men to replicate Christ's love for the Church amounts to telling them, “Forget custom. Go way out of your way to care and provide for your spouses. Choose to love them like Christ loves both of you.” That’s the core principle here. Finally, the rubber meets the road.

We free this text of its surface chauvinism by ignoring everything Paul says about wifely subservience and husbandly superiority. None of it can be taken literally, because the contractual nature of ancient wedlock no longer exists. We can shout, “Hallelujah for that!” and shelve the premise alongside other anachronisms Paul addresses—e.g., treatment of slaves, eating meat offered to idols, and engaging temple prostitutes in pagan rites. Once the black ice melts, what’s below secures our steps with a gripping revelation we can’t afford to skim over: Christ goes out of the way—way out of the way—to love us. We are loved by choice. On purpose. Without merit. Christ loves us because we’re part of Christ. “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.”

Membership in Christ’s Body equalizes all of us, regardless of gender, class, ethnicity, and orientation. As equals, our concerns cannot supersede the concerns of others. For me to care more about myself reveals an exalted self-opinion. I’m out of joint with Christ’s Body. For you to put your needs first reveals an inflated sense of importance. You’re out of joint with Christ’s Body. And we’re both out of synch with Christ’s leadership. That’s why Paul opens this passage by making it abundantly clear what he’s driving at: “Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.” (v21) There’s no mention of gender, marital roles, cultural traditions—not one. In the final analysis, all of this marital and gender craziness distills into one abiding truth. Service to one another is an act of worship to God. We answer those who insist Paul's antiquated metaphor has doctrinal relevance with, "It's got nothing to do with women, men, or marital relations. It's about Christ's unfailing passion for us and service among equals in the Body of Christ." We answer those who rage at the apparent gender bias in Paul's parallel the same way.

Too many centuries divide Paul and us. Too much has changed, all for the good, we hope. Having deserted the archaic customs and attitudes that ice Paul's metaphor, we've every cause to detest how it reads. But once we regain traction and approach the text from the right direction, how can we not love what it actually says?

Paul’s obsolete marriage metaphor sends us into a tailspin and we miss what he’s driving at. Beneath the icy layer lies a gripping revelation.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Princely Agenda

He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9.6-7)


Isn’t it a tad late for this? Maybe not. This year, the warm glow enveloping the manger didn’t typically fade into the austere silver of workaday winter. It felt more like somebody threw a master switch to show us the Nativity scene we’ve hauled out for years has got more than a little musty and worse for wear. Bathed in candlelight and sentimentality, the crust in its crevices and cracks in its veneer aren’t visible. But they’re there, all right, exposed by an abrupt onslaught of strife, violence, and disaster within a fortnight of “joy to the world” and “sleep in heavenly peace.” The child in us would rather not subject Christmas to reality’s glare. A part of us wants to isolate it from the actual world and rest of the year to protect its magic, as if it God designed and ordained it for our entertainment, as no more than an ingenious fairy tale flocked with exquisite trimmings—mystical star-shine and awestruck shepherds, friendly animals and posh Magi (whence “magic,” by the way). If that’s all we want of Christmas, we can get by masking its weathered state with low light, and this post has no point. Yet clinging to its fantasy at the expense of its focus sets it with dozens of similarly fantastic fables. It’s only a matter of time before Christmas turns into an old wives’ tale.

Widespread disruption on the heels of “peace on Earth, good will to all” reminds me of an opportunity I had to attend a Disney employee event, “Secrets of the Magic Kingdom.” For one night, Disneyland was closed so staff, family, and friends could see how the park really operated. They turned off the projectors and sound effects, and we rode the rides under bright work lamps. It was—pardon the pun—an illuminating evening. Space Mountain, the futuristic coaster that whips riders through galaxies at high speeds, was a masterpiece of illusion. Demystified, it ran at safe speeds on a track scaled to fit the modest barn that housed it. Discovering how something so ordinary became extraordinary by creating an aura around it made the experience miraculous. For Space Mountain to succeed, the magic is necessary. Maintaining its pristine condition is vital. Yet Disney insiders understand magic is the means. Mechanics are the mainstay. The aura is created so the attractions work. Seeing Christmas through the filter of recent events has a similar effect. Not only is its aura in need of refurbishment. In our preoccupation with how it looks and feels, we’ve lost sight of how it works.

Unleash the Promise

We treat Isaiah’s hope in a coming Prince of Peace like a glittering birth announcement. “He’s here! He’s here!” we rejoice. And once the festivities end, we close the prophecy and return it to the shelf until next year. But Isaiah 9.6-7 is much more than “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It’s the promise of a New Order: “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” Stripped of its holiday aura, the mechanics of Christmas reveal why it’s truly miraculous. Its modest, barn-sized construction is meant to change the world. Prophecy of the Prince of Peace’s birth also promises a Princely agenda. The Prince will establish policies and define procedures for peace, which His subjects will carry out. Christmas transcends “O come let us adore Him” when we see Isaiah’s promise is far from realized in Bethlehem. It’s the start of something vastly bigger. It replaces the magic with a mandate. The Princely agenda transfers Christmas’s meaning from Christ’s birth to our potential. It falls to each of us, as the Prince’s subjects, to unleash the promise of peace.

We’re appointed to this function on authority of the Prince’s government. And we’re back in a fairy tale, aren’t we? The Prince of Peace ruling over a peaceable kingdom of sleepy villages where peace-loving people get along—it’s a Disney fantasy that stretches the imagination more than a virgin giving birth to God, stars appearing in the sky, and angels popping up at every turn. Suppose we put that storybook away and forget where we stashed it? Unleashing the promise of peace is too fantastic an aspiration in a world where one group invariably works to ensure the other will never live happily ever after. And isn’t that what Isaiah promises, the fantasy of happily ever after? Isn’t that why we’re untroubled by rejoicing at the Peace Prince’s birth one week and cringing at real-world turmoil the next? Can’t we just love the magic and not bother with the mechanics—embrace the aura and ignore the oracle? We can. But if that’s our choice, can’t we be honest with our God, our neighbors, and ourselves and confess our unfaithfulness as subjects and our misgivings about the agenda? We might as well.


When I was in middle school, the civics teacher invited us to enter a national essay competition on “What is freedom?” Looking for a unique angle, I visited a Lithuanian neighbor who’d fled Stalinist Russia. I hoped she’d lavish me with high-flown rhapsodies of freedom and heart-wrenching tales of tyranny. Her mundane response surprised—and confused—me. She handed me the morning newspaper. “Here is freedom.” Seeing my disappointment, she turned on her radio. “Here is freedom.” She opened her window and increased the volume. “Here is freedom.” And then she said, “Freedom isn’t in the sky. It’s in the street.” I understood, but it wasn’t the kind of idealistic answer that wins essay contests. I skipped the competition. Yet Mrs. Duda comes to mind as I try to wrap my thoughts around the Princely agenda. If peace hovers above our reach, it’s because we’ve inflated it as a lofty ideal, not a way of life.

Peace should come as readily to us as opening the newspaper or turning on the radio. When Jesus lays out the Princely agenda, He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5.9) Makers. Where we find discord, we make peace, starting with our own turmoil. If voluntary forgiveness makes peace, we forgive unasked. If sacrificing pride makes peace, we embrace humility. If abandoning ambitions makes peace, we practice contentment. The Prince of Peace will reign in our world only when the Princely agenda governs our hearts. Then, only then, will Christmas surpass its magical mystery to mark the anniversary of the global revolution God intended it to be.

Peace isn’t a lofty ideal hovering out of reach. When the Princely agenda governs our hearts, we hold the power to make peace in our hands.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Conclusion Jumpers

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!” (Psalm 40.15-16)

Time Will Tell

Short of “I hate you,” I can think of nothing worse than telling a child, “You’ll never amount to anything.” To innocent ears, it decrees total lack of faith, and coming from a parent, teacher, or any other authority figure, it carries the crushing weight of credibility. Children haven’t the knowledge or experience to repudiate their elders. They don’t know that vile people who say such things are projecting their own sense of failure and lack of self-worth on them. Although they may figure it out when they get older, maturity also alerts them to the utter cruelty of the remark. In the worst cases, the prediction takes root. The child expects to fail and does, inadvertently lending credence to the prophecy. The pattern is set for life.

If we’ve been spared such crippling malice—and I pray most of us have—it’s still likely somewhere in life we’ll cross paths with people who blatantly undervalue our talents and sincerity. As long as we don’t do anything that upsets their equilibrium, we’re fine. They’ve got us in a box. But let us break “the norm” and they waste no time telling us why we can’t possibly succeed. If necessary, they call for reinforcements to ratify their views. In matters of faith, they go straight to the top, insisting God does not approve. “Homosexuality is sin; you can't be gay and follow Christ.” Or, “God never meant for women to be ordained as priests and pastors. You're asking too much.” Or, “Unless you comply with all the rules, you'll never be a real Christian.” Whatever the complaint, the formula’s the same: it’s our way or else. Of course, we know that’s not so. It makes no sense to pull a Scripture here and another there to construct a doctrine that bears no resemblance to God’s nature revealed in all of Scripture or Christ’s teaching and example. It’s the message tucked inside the protest that hurts—a total lack of faith that says, “You’ll never amount to anything.” What do we with that? What can we say? This is especially painful for believers who may not be as conversant in Scripture and theological traditions as their naysayers. Psalm 40 provides a superb model to adopt. It tells us to let conclusion jumpers be. If we’re faithful and sincere, we need not answer our critics at all. Time will tell.

Revolutionary Discovery

The psalm is best known for its marvelous opening stanza (v1-3):

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

David’s so overcome by God’s goodness to him, he skips summarizing the situation to exult in its aftermath. All we’ve got is a metaphor. He was mired down, which might mean anything from a temporary impasse to debilitating depression. God rescued him, set him aright, and gave him a new song. The second stanza (v4-5) gives us a taste of the song, while the next (v6-8) explains what’s new about it. And it’s really new—controversially new—sure to shock David’s audience. “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.” (v6) One imagines gasps, horrified stares, and heads turning every which way, as the congregants ask, “Did he say God doesn’t want sacrifices and offerings? Has he lost his mind?” Evidently David has, because after he commits to live by his revolutionary discovery, he spends stanza four (v9-10) assuring God he will do it boldly, without apology: “I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know… I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.”

The great assembly—just reading that, we think, “Uh-oh.” We rescan the crowd, noting the changed affect of the Old Guard married to tradition and the easily disgruntled conclusion jumpers. Concerned scowls replace their ghastly initial reaction. They’ve tuned David out entirely. They’ll not hear one more word. He’s obviously confused. This can never amount to anything. They’ve got to rein him in before his foolishness catches on. But David’s no fool. Although he knows what they think, he keeps singing. Indeed, he audaciously starts to improvise, turning his song into a prayer for deliverance. “Troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see,” he confesses in verse 12. Whatever mired him down earlier is no comparison with the mess he’s in now. (Anyone who’s tangled with church folks can relate.) “Come quickly, LORD, to help me,” verse 13 cries. Then something truly wonderful happens.

Our Song

Between verses 13 and 14, David seems to recognize he’s also jumping to conclusions. Anticipating the naysayers and conclusion jumpers' response, he’s dropped his new song to their weary key. It’s as though he never knew God’s grace, like he’s never been in a pit, like he’s forgot the importance of waiting patiently for God to remedy his circumstances. While those outraged by David’s radical belief get set to tell him what’s what, he leaves them to God. “May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace,” he prays. “May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’ be appalled at their own shame. But may all who see you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, ‘The LORD is great!’” (v14-16)

Here’s what we can’t lose sight of when confronted by naysayers and conclusion jumpers: They’ve not been where we’ve been. They’ve not known the same kinds of mercy and grace we have. They’ve not been lifted from our pits. They’ve not waited patiently for God to set their lives aright in the same ways. They’ve not seen God as we have. They can’t rejoice and be glad like we can. They’ve not been given our new song. That’s the only reason we disturb them. Had they been in our place, they too would sing our tune.

Because our song shocks them is no cause to stop singing. Though they predict our failure and warn of our ruin, our song goes on. Though they point to Bibles, pull out doctrines, and bellow, “Aha!” our song goes on. We sing it boldly, without apology, in the proper key. David ends with a hushed coda that admits his weaknesses and confesses, “You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.” (v17) We can't waste strength we need on conflicts we won't resolve. We let God deal with those who jump to conclusions about our beliefs and what we’ll amount to. Our song leads back to God, our Help and our Deliverer. Keep singing. Time will tell.

Why wouldn’t people be shocked by our song? It’s new. It sounds too radical. It’s a song many won’t understand or accept because they’ve not been where we’ve been.