Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

The version of the story I heard was this — Mac became enamored the first time he saw Annie. He was dumbstruck, thinking that no other girl on campus, or perhaps in the world, was as beautiful as was Annie. With time, although very shy, Mac finally got up enough courage to ask Annie for a date, to go with him to a party that Mac’s musical group was having at one of the member’s home. She accepted. The cloud Mac was on ascended another several thousand feet into the air!

Mac and Annie continued seeing each other. For Mac to get to the point of confessing to Annie that he loved her was painful. It wasn’t that Mac didn’t love Annie. It was that he had never said that to a girl before. It wasn’t that love scared Mac; he had been raised in a loving family. But, his thought was that “love is so forever, and I want to be VERY sure!”

The long and short of Mac and Annie is that they did end up deeply in love, got married, and had children and grandkids.

Mac and Annie came to my mind while I was listening to “The Alchemists”, a gorgeous piece sung by Russell Watson and Lara Fabian. The music and lyrics are hauntingly spectacular and provocative – – the man and the woman trying to come to grips with what it means to love each other. To listen to “The Alchemists” click http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/The+Alchemist+Featuring+Lara/3YNy9v?src=5  OR  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpmCJ7k96Zg . Since the lyrics are so important, I also am including them.

In the desert where almost nothing grows
You’ll find the most beautiful rose
Takes its name from Jericho, a miracle of life.

I know a place I can’t deny

Where even a Jericho rose would die
The desert of your heart’s
Where I am trying to survive

Can’t control this,

can’t let go this
Feeling’s all I have,
 

I know that

I could build a tower out of steel and stone
But trying to build a bridge to you
Is something I can’t seem to do
If I could turn this dust to gold, you’d see it clearly
Trying to earn your love is just like
Trying to learn the art of alchemy

Measure of a woman’s heart
Is just how deep and just how far
A secret can be kept
Till it is only a distant memory.

My emotions fall on stony ground
I wear them just like hand-me-downs
Because I know the secret is the love
That you have for me

I can’t believe,

can hardly breathe
Without you by my side,
 

I know that

I could build a tower out of steel and stone
But trying to build a bridge to you
Is something I can’t seem to do
If I could turn this dust to gold, you’d see it clearly
Trying to earn your love is just like
Trying to learn the art of alchemy

How could life be the same
If I find I loved in vain
The dream I have every night
Is to wake with you by my side.
 

I could build a tower out of steel and stone
But trying to build a bridge to you
Is something I can’t seem to do
If I could turn this dust to gold, you’d see it clearly
Trying to earn your love is just like
Trying to learn the art of alchemy

Trying to earn your love is just like
Trying to learn the art of alchemy

Alchemy

Implicit throughout the lyrics is that “love” is indispensable; love is “right”. But, also running through the lyrics is the couple’s thought that they need to earn the love of the other. Sadly, they are unsuccessful. They compare their futile efforts to learning the art of alchemy, likened to the “art” of turning “dust to gold”. Both the man and the woman fail in their attempts to build a bridge to the other. 

The lyrics stir my emotions, creating inner pain as I picture two people, each desperately wanting the other person to reciprocate. Both blame themselves for “failing” at their attempt to “earn” the other’s love. The dilemma is so real in human life that we ache. Some who are reading this could probably bear witness to having been immersed in this situation. Perhaps some still are.

If you have read other of my posts related to music you might recall that I refer to the “pointing feature” of music. That is appropriate for this case also. Although sung by a particular man and a woman, The Alchemists points to a larger, but parallel, feature of human life. Just as the man and the woman are convinced that they need to “earn” the love of the other, and then “feel” that they are unsuccessful in their attempts, so also are those that feel compelled to “earn” the love of the Creator God. 

The fact is that God already loves His created human beings. The frustration humans may feel about God perhaps is traceable back to our assuming that we humans can, or should, or are obligated to, do something that will cause God to love us. This assumption implicitly is saying, “God, I know you don’t yet love me, but I am going to try to convince you that I am worth your changing your mind about me.” That assumption is the barrier that keeps us from experiencing God’s natural and already existing love for his created humans.

For the reader that is familiar with the Bible, I encourage you to take seriously the John 3.16 verse that refers to God so loving the world that He sent Jesus so we could have everlasting life with God. And, if you are so inclined, don’t overlook 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter that sets love on the top of the heap of the virtues.

The reality is that our God already loves us. Our response is to acknowledge His love, embrace Him and His loving actions on our behalf. I would be foolish to imply that such response is all that is involved in living with fullness in God’s love. But, I would be even more foolish to suggest that we have to “learn the art of alchemy” in order to earn God’s love for us. No alchemy in the world will ever make God love us any more than He already does. Our love is a response to God’s love; it is not a catalyst for God’s love.

I encourage you to listen again to The Alchemists and allow the thoughts of this blog to course through your mind. And, feel free to post your comments.