A Little More

Yesterday night, I was listening with not just a bit of despair, to Jennifer Knapp’s new album.

In the past, I had garnered much encouragement from her songs – songs that had stuck with me – even in the darkest of my days. Songs like “The Way I Am”, “A Little More” and “Refine Me”. Songs that I had always felt spoke the very words of my struggling heart – yearning for grace, for mercy – even in the throes of bondage…

I used to think that she and I were so similar. That somehow, God had placed someone on this earth to write, nay, put into song – what I had never been bold enough to say… It gave me a measure of strength and hope – to know that someone was going through the same struggle as me (not that I knew her to know what her struggle was) and was still holding on to the faith.

Years later, I was surprised to find (in Youtube) of all places, that she was releasing a much awaited album. I was elated. I even wrote a lengthy comment to her, professing how her music helped me so much in my own walk… What I did not know at that time, was that she wasn’t releasing it as a Christian artist. An interview confirmed the worst of all rumours, she had indeed succumbed to her own personal struggle.

It is discomforting to me, listening to her songs – because you can feel her heavy anticipation of the condemnation coming from those whom she says will ‘bury (her) alive without hearing the whole story…’ A feeling that I had, at one time, shared…

To whom she adamantly asks (rhetorically, of course) , ‘Who the hell do you think you are…?’

On the one hand, I know exactly what she means when she says things like “I’m the one who keeps it on the inside, so they’ll leave me alone…” But on the other, I can’t help but realize that now there is a huge disparity between her and me now… Where once, I would have responded much in kind – I now realize, I have no need, no desire to do so…

I’m not saying that I am better than her or that I have succeeded where she has not (its far too early in my journey to say). But I remember what it felt like to be there (where she is). I know that I do not want it (though sometimes I entertain the thought). But God forbid (Amen and amen to that) that I ever go back…

Yes, sometimes I too am ‘so tired of standing on the edge of myself’ and all I want is to ‘dive in’… just to ‘let go’ of my convictions, to ‘give in’ to these overpowering desires. But, just as Flyleaf (another band who has inspired me so much) sings,

“those in the light know we die… in the dark… in the dark… in the dark…” (In the Dark, Flyleaf)

I was confronted with many things when Jennifer ‘came out’ – unknowingly, I had begun to cultivate a ‘holier than thou’ belief system (in it’s infancy though) – but to the extent that I was offended that she would deem it okay to just go and just ‘accept’ the very state that she had struggled so hard, so long against…

I also realized that whilst being lost in hero-worship, I had placed her in a hateful place (a pedestal of all things), forgotten that she was still human…

So, I prayed last night… that God would continue to seek her out – to speak to her, to comfort her, to reassure her… (truly, there is no one else who can) – that she needn’t defend herself against the stones.

No doubt, she is living in sin, in direct disobedience, in rebellion… but none of us can boast any better…

I also prayed for myself. Because God knows I need grace… mercy…

“…a little more than I can give, a little more than I deserve..” (A Little More, Jennifer Knapp)

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