sometimes faith, that ‘big’ kind of faith; that, ‘putting it all in god’s hands’, ‘laying out a fleece for the lord’ faith; that, ‘i knew that god would do it all the time’ kind of faith seems a little too close to idolatory for my liking.
to me, that kind of belief in the power of faith, undermines the importance and power of what god can do. if there is no risk of things going wrong then whatever god does is a foregone conclusion and, as such, unimportant. it’s all about faith. not god.
anyway, my brother’s just recently been on the receiving end of this kind of crass christianity – just at a point when something terrible was averted and he wanted to sit back in silence and contemplate his feelings, he had some botherer chuntering on at him about how they knew god would come through and why was he looking so worried? it hurt him and his story left me feeling raw too.
it reminded me of the time that he and i were driving away from cheltenham hospital after what turned out to be the last time we saw our gran the night she died. we were a bit stunned (she’d had a very sudden downturn from pretty perfect health) and had nothing to say to each other, so we put the radio on and john peel was on. he was playing some relentless hypnotic german techno – and it felt completely perfect.
there was something about the wordless unsentimentality about the music that felt appropriate, that gave us space to just dwell on what we were thinking and feeling. something about the minimal nature of the music that was coldly comforting at a time where we were starting to appreciate the loss we were about to feel.
so, late last night, after talking to my brother, while i was driving back to cardiff from gloucester on an unlit m5 i tried it again. i found an aphex twin album on the ipod that i hadn’t really ever listened to, and i’m sure that it may only work for me, but it was exactly the unfamiliarity and harshness of the music that felt comforting and appropriate.
it made me feel that we’ve got a bloody long way to go with music in church before we even touch the sides of people’s experiences of life.