For those of you who don’t know, I’m a pretty lousy singer. It’s not so much that the tone of my voice is bad, rather, I can’t carry a tune, seriously, cannot. But I love to sing, and sing loudly. So be glad that you are reading this wherever you are instead of sitting here with me. Because right now I’m singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side”, and you’re better off not hearing me! (I can picture Simon Cowel’s criticism of me now…) She sings it much better than I do, click here to hear her.
Have you heard the song yet? Have you really listened to the words? I love them because they are so honest, so real, and so true for probably all of us.There’s a place that I know It’s not pretty there And few have ever gone If I show it to you now Will it make you run away? Or will you stay even if it hurts Even if I try to push you out Will you return? And remind me who I really am Please remind me who I really am Everybody’s got a dark side Do you love me? Can you love mine? Nobody’s a picture perfect But we’re worth it You know that we’re worth it. Will you love me? Even with my dark side?
I was with a friend today and we were talking about how messed up we all are. We think everyone else has it all together, but no, we are all messes. We all have some type of dark side: flaws, imperfections, and garbage that we’d rather not let other’s see. Because like Kelly asks in the song, will they still love us if they see the dark side?
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” So the answer should be that yes, they will still love us if they see the dark side. Whether that dark side is depression, anger, bitterness, shame, hurt, pride. Whether it’s a failing marriage, addiction, finances in ruins, lies, porn… No matter what we’ve said or done, a friend should love us. They don’t have to like the junk, but they should love us.
But that doesn’t always happen. We’ve been hurt. We’ve been rejected. We’ve been ridiculed. We’ve been judged. We’ve been gossiped about. And if we haven’t, then we’ve seen it happen to others. And so we hide our dark side, and pretend that everything is hunky dory. Or we try super hard to overcome that dark side. To become the person we want everyone to think we are. Sometimes we succeed. But, I think we always worry that one day everyone will find out the truth, that we are a fraud.
My prayer for you dear reader, is that you do have someone that you can show your dark side to: your spouse, your parent, your pastor, a mentor, a friend, me. Someone who knows your fears, your failures, your insecurities and still loves you, and still embraces you, and walks besides you and says, “You’re worth it, I’m not leaving even if it hurts. I love you, even with your dark side.” And I pray that you and I will be that for others as well.
But if you don’t right now, or if you’ve been hurt so much that you are scared to trust someone, take heart! Psalm 27:10 says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” The same King David that sang that, also sang in Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have examined my heart, and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away… You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord… How precious are your thoughts about me O God. They cannot be numbered.” This is the same King David who had an affair, got the woman pregnant, and had her husband murdered. King David knew God saw all that, and still loved him and would hold him close.
As I’ve been openly examining my imperfections through this blog, and pressing on to improve myself… to make my dark side a little brighter, I’m constantly being reminded of one thing. God loves me now, today, just as I am. He will not love me more tomorrow when I weigh less, and am a better wife, and have a cleaner house, and yell at my kids less, and read my Bible more. God loves me with my dark side. He doesn’t love me less than Billy Graham or more than a “crackhead” on the street. I cannot earn God’s love, it’s already completely there.
Though I can’t earn his love, I can choose how to respond to it. Do I press in to it so close that I can hear God’s heartbeat, or do I let the world drown it out? Do I allow his forgiveness through Christ to wash over me and my dark side, or do I keep scrubbing away on my own trying to make myself good enough?
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) I have that verse taped to my computer. When I read it, I ask myself, “Do you believe it?” Just now I read it and edited it as I read:The Lord my God is with me, even with my dark side. He is mighty to save me from my dark side. He will take great delight in me, even with my dark side. He will quiet me with his love amidst my dark side. He will rejoice over me with singing which is much better than my singing!
Do I believe that? Do you? Lord, help us to believe that you are with us even with our dark sides. Help us to trust you, not ourselves, to save us from our dark sides. Thank you God that you delight in us even with our dark sides. Help us to believe that. Thank you for quieting us with your love amidst our dark sides. Help us to rest in it. Thank you for rejoicing over us with singing. I’ll be honest, I can’t even get a picture in my head of what that looks like or sounds like, but I’ll bet it’s awesome!
Pressing on with you, in God’s love, not to earn God’s love, even with our dark sides,