Almost invariably you can find me moved (often to tears) by the singing/band playing when I go to church on Sunday mornings. Not because their performance exudes "excellence" (a new-ish church word meaning you practised a lot, talked on the phone about what colour schemes your clothing should match to, and secretly hoping that your team would get a call from a producing company because of your stellar sound...) but because the words and sounds and people around me somehow roll over and through and around me in a way that I can only describe as deeply spiritual. I hope again. I pray again. I feel tenacious about my desire to believe in a good God who loves me and mine.
But as much as I love it, I sometimes I wonder about the "Christian music scene". Occasionally I'll put on our local Christian music station while I'm working in the house so that the words will soak into me and the dirty couch and the wildebeast children. It never does a darn thing for the couch. But almost every time I feel vaguely disturbed about some aspects of what I'm listening to. I imagine the bands feeling as pressured as the "secular bands" to look and sound a particular way. I imagine them fussing with their hair, whitening their teeth, checking their rear view in the mirror and not wanting to come out looking frumpy or grumpy or chubby. Well, of course not. I'm not above that, and I'll bet my right thigh that you're not either. Then I imagine them checking their record sales, their placements on the popularity charts and glancing over their shoulders to see what gifted Christian singer is sneaking up behind them, about to steal their thunder, their sales, their moment in the sun.
I hear the Christian real estate salesperson advertise about how we should ask her to sell our houses because she believes in God. I hear about the conferences where we should all go and be together and rub shoulders after we buy our tickets through ticketmaster. I hear about the Christians who would like us to buy their cars, their lumber, let them landscape our yards or groom our dog.
And it just sits kind of funny with me.
Is it just me?