Thursday, August 16, 2012


As Teber was teaching our Life Connection Class on Sunday--and has been for the past few weeks--about our faith and the reasons behind it (a great series of lessons, and a great presentation of this part of the Gospel) and it made me think of something that I wrote back on October 12th, 2000.

Its a little write up centered around a little tune by Nichole Nordeman called "Fool For You", a song that discussing that even though we may not understand why we believe it, we believe it and are willing to live the life of those beliefs--no matter the cost to our reputation or our image. (note: this song is also featured on the two disc "Love, Pride & Deep Fried Chicken: The Soundtrack to d$'s Life" collection, forthcoming).

I have taken it, give it a little editing twist, added and subtracted and now I simply call it "Nothin' But a Fool". Here goes...

There are times when faith and common sense do not align, when hardcore evidence of You is hard to find. I am silenced in the face of argumentative debate--is a long hill, its a lonely climb--they want proof. They proof of all the mysteries I claim, cause only fools would want to chant a dead man's name. Maybe its true but... I'd be a fool for You. Because you asked me to. A simpleton who's seemingly naive, I do believe You came and made Yourself a fool for me.

Nichole Nordeman rocks my face off. In the late 90s and early part of the 2000s, when I was deeply absorbed in Christian music (before it all started sounding exactly alike and I discovered podcasts and audiobooks), Nichole Nordeman was one of those artists that helped to change my life--dcTalk, Jennifer Knapp and Watermark also have that distinction. And from the album "This Mystery" comes a song that also changed my life. But first, an oddly connecting anecdotal story...

Well, let's begin in 1997... I had a crush on this chick, and I thought of ways to impress her. I'm not going to lie to you, I was a dumb dater then... what I mean by that is, all the stuff I know not to do now, I learned by doing it then and realizing how dumb I was... I'm lucky anyone would have me. Okay, back to the story.

So, I called this girl up, and sang... yes, sang "My Girl" on her answering machine. Now you sit there and laugh, but at the time it seemed like a good idea... well, if you must know, I didn't hear from her for a long time. Yes, it was dumb. And I'm sure I looked incredibly stupid... and foolish. But you know what, I liked her, so I didn't mind looking like a fool for her.

Not to many years ago, someone asked me about God. They were an atheist, and they asked me all sorts of questions that I, being a new Christian, couldn't give a solid answer. Truth-be-known, I'm not sure I could answer some of them now, but it was some of the old unbeliever favorites like "How can a loving God allow such sin in the world?" and "Why do you praise a dead man, Jesus?" and that kind of stuff. You and I both know, in our hearts, the answers to both of those questions, but its hard trying to relay those answers without your opponent having an open mind to the idea of Faith. So, I looked like a fool. But you know what? I like Jesus, he had done a lot for me, so I didn't mind looking like a fool for him.

I admit that in my darkest hours I've asked what-if, what if we created some kind of man-made faith like this? Out of good intention, or emotional invention, after life is through, there will be no You. They want proof of all these miracles I claim, because only fools believe that man can walk on waves. Maybe its true, but I'd be a fool for You because you asked me to. A simpleton who's seemingly naive, I do believe You came and made Yourself a fool for me.

Now, I know I'm not the only one who has done this... wondered what if?

What if... God really doesn't exist?
What if... other religions and beliefs are actually right?
What if... when I die, there is nothing?

Those questions you never acknowledge that you ask, because you want to be strong in your faith, but when you are really at a low point, Satan smacks you with the sin of unbelief. And if I am wrong in what I believe, when it’s all said and done, boy, will I look like a fool. But if believing makes me a fool, I love God, so I don’t mind looking like a fool for him.

But then I think about Jesus, who came here two thousand years ago. He preached to the masses, to the crowds, to everyone. He wasn't popular with the "important" people, he could care less that consorting with that woman at the well was deemed undignified and frankly, could give squat about the Pharisees opinions when he visited the low life tax collectors at their houses. He did it because he loved them... and us. They called him a fool. But he loved us so much, he didn't mind looking like a fool.

Unaware of popularity. Unconcerned with dignity. You made me free. That's proof enough for me.

We as humans are so prideful, if we lower ourselves down enough to look foolish for something or someone, then that means we hold them dear to us... you wouldn't be a fool for just anyone, I'm sure. But when you love someone, you make a fool of yourself sometimes... have you ever been embarrassed for worshipping or praising God in public? Its okay to say yes, because I have... but you know what? Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, pass the cornbread. Sometimes the deepest, most impactful worship you can have is when you just raise your hands, shut your eyes and let God move you however he sees fit.

For a time, I would even close my eyes and sign the worship music--I knew sign, I loved sign and for me, it was a glorious way to worship. Somehow, over the years, I became self-conscious of that and stopped. And that truly is a shame. Who knows... maybe during something I know (like the next time we sing "The Air I Breathe", which might be never, as that's a forgotten classic), I'll just let it go and throw my hands up. We find ourselves sitting next to John and Ashley Wolf many times on the front row of that side-section, so I hope I don't smack Ashley during my over dramatic sign for "...and I-I-I-I-I I'm desperate for You..." If I do, though, then we'll both look like fools. Fools for Jesus. And isn't that how it should be?

I think so.

I would be a fool for You, only if You asked me to. I'm a simpleton who's only thinking of the cause of Love, I will speak Jesus' name. If that makes me crazy, they can call me crazed, I'm happy to be seemingly naive. I do believe You came and made yourself a fool for me.

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