Theology

“Far Away”

March 13, 2010
 
Every once and a while I hear a song that I really connect with and it completely moves me. Yesterday, I was making lunch and had some music playing in the background, and some of the words caught my attention, so I sat down and listened to the whole song. It actually ended up moving me to tears. I listened to it about 5 times (and teared up every time). I never thought that a Christian gangster rapper would have a song that would bring me to tears — but Lecrae did. The song is a recent single he released in support of Haiti, called “Far Away.” Here are the lyrics:
 Far Far Away (You feel) Far Away. (You Seem) Far Away.. So So 
Hopeless! I can spell it

I can smell it in the air
Lotta people wonder if you still care
And are you still there?
Cuz I dun lost it all
I keep calling your name
But do you hear my call?
And are you still involved?
Or am I left alone?
I wander the streets
Cuz I no longer have a home
My brothers all gone
My sisters all gone
My family and my friends ain’t gonna be here in the mornin’
Ya see me here mourning
They say you feel my pain
They say you went through it
Say to die is to gain
But I ain’t gained nothing
I lost everybody
Now I’m losing my mind
And my faith is all I got it
I’m still holding on
Thats why I’m still pray
Feelin empty inside
I can’t make it through today
I don’t know what else to do
I don’t know what else to say
I’m talking to ya now
But I promise that you feel so far

Far Far Away (You feel) Far Away. (You Seem) Far Away.. So So

Dear hope: Been waitin’ on ya for a while now
Been cut so deep that I ain’t sure if I can smile now
Look at this devastation
Look at the pain and sorrow
Somebody fed me lies and promised me a bright tomorrow
I know the God I follow
Is bigger than disaster
Big enough to handle
Any evil that harasses

But I feel like he passed us

Pain overtook us
Buildings tumble over head
As the ground shook us
God have you forsook us?
Lord you still with me?
I know you save souls
I trust you to forgive me
Relief can you hear me?
Hey, Rest can you get me?
Hey, Peace can you see me?
Hey, love can you heal me?

I don’t know what to do
I ain’t looking for answers
I just need you to hold my hand
Through this cancer
Tell me you never left
Even in the midst of death
Breathe on me, I’ll do anything to feel your Breath

Far Far Away (You feel) Far Away. (You Seem) Far Away.. So So (X4)

  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,

for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

(Far far away.) Hes not (Far Away) No hes not (Far Away) Our Gods not Even though he seems

They are powerful and real lyrics. The line that really hit me at first was “somebody fed me lies and promised me a bright tomorrow.” It’s so easy for us today to use Christianity as a way to say, “Don’t worry, God will rescue you from all difficulty and give you a good life if you follow him.” Or, like Job’s friends, assume that pain and suffering are a result of our sin and we just need to change our ways. 
But I think the approach Lecrae takes is spot on with the truth. It’s hard to deal with pain and devastation and loss when we know we have a loving God. He seems very “Far Away.” If you’ve been through pain, loss, or grief, you know how this feels. You can identify with this song clearly. I think that’s why it made me cry, because it put to words and music the words of my heart at times. I remember when God felt far away, when I waited for hope but never found it, when I just wanted God to be there or feel his breath. And there is this tension between your feelings and what you know: you know that God is near, but he feels like he has totally forsaken you. It’s very real anguish, and I think we all go through (Jesus doesn’t seem to be exempt either).
But the way Lecrae handles it is what I love: he doesn’t claim to give the “answer” to the pain and difficulty, but he points to the Psalms. People in that kind of pain aren’t looking for some answer or reason, they are looking for someone to be there. In the end, he quotes Psalm 62:5-8, he keeps the tension. He does what the Psalmist says, he “pours out his heart” and tells how he really feels about God, and then he reminds himself of the truths: “God is near,” to die is “gain,” and God is in control, even though he doesn’t feel like it. I think that’s why the Psalms are so powerful and encouraging to us — they show us the human experience of suffering (and sometimes, joy) and don’t have to give the absolute answer. They are very real, and very honest before God. And I think the reason we love them so much, is because when we read them, they show us that someone was there before — this guy knows what I am going through! They aren’t answers, but they put into words and song our heart cries, and they give us someone to be there and remind us that God isn’t so “Far Away,” even though he may seem to be.
Great song. I really recommend everyone download it (all proceeds go straight to Haiti). Lecrae is a great artist too — all his songs have serious Scripture in them, and if you go to his concerts (I’ve been 3 times) he shares from his heart and it’s clear that he knows the Bible, and it’s clear that he loves Jesus and is really doing his music for God’s glory.

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