Tuesday, June 06, 2017

You Know Me/ You Don't Know Me

 I wish I could sing decently and play an instrument but that is just wishful thinking. Would those gifts make me happier or a better person? In my case, at least, I doubt it. The following is from November 21, 2006. For those of you who knew our dad, a reviewer online thinks Van Morrison is an INTP!

Saturday night, I preached a wedding. It was great! Emily and Josh are a tremendous couple...and they were shaking as they stood in front of me. One thing is certain: they were not taking their vows lightly! It was a beautiful wedding and the reception dinner was equally wonderful. I left early as I would be flying to St. Louis after worship services the next morning and I had not begun to pack. There is an adrenaline rush that accompanies participation in such monumental events and it isn't always easy to settle down. On the way home, I ran into a grocery store and picked up a six pack of Heath flavored Klondike Bars to help me negotiate the re-entry to my normal world. To enjoy Klondike Bars, you need to be seated so I unwrapped #1 and turned on the TV. Austin City Limits was playing on channel 8, the Public Broadcast System. Specializing in an eclectic variety of musical tastes, it has long been one of my favorite offerings on PBS. The featured act that night seemed very familiar. The voice sounded like one I had heard many times. I had a passing thought that it was reminiscent of Van Morrison but the singer in no way resembled Morrison. Several songs into the set, the title flashed across the bottom of the screen and sure enough, it was him. But it couldn't be. The Van Morrison I remember was young. The guy on television was elderly and overweight. My memories are of a young man who wrote and crooned classics like Gloria (G-L-O-R-I-A), Tupelo Honey, Domino, Wild Night, and Brown Eyed Girl. It was him. Now in his sixties, the native of Northern Ireland still puts his stamp on the music: he just doesn't look the same. I was reminded of the blind Isaac's words when he was being hoodwinked by his younger son in Genesis 27: "The voice is the voice of Jacob but the hands are the hands of Esau." Van Morrison fooled me. I knew the sound of his voice but he grew old. It's just not right.

As I ran a Google search on Van Morrison, I found something else that disturbed me. I discovered I know nothing about him at all. Listening to an artist's music does not make one a friend or even an acquaintance. Reading through reviews, and admittedly a limited number, I found that some people consider Van Morrison to be one of the least likable personalities in rock music. His lack of good looks in an industry where pleasing appearance is like an extra helping of talent led to a history of being scorned and rejected. Morrison was described as lacking social skills and lacking motivation to cultivate any. His character, if the entertainment pundits are accurate, would lead one to believe that spending time with this musical icon would be most unpleasant. I felt betrayed after digesting what I uncovered. I wanted everybody to look at Morrison the way I did and I want them to be wrong. We know celebrities from a distance, through a radio speaker or an interview quotation. We know them about as much as they know us. Jesus had an interesting dialogue in the gospel of John. In chapter 7, he tells the people in Jerusalem, "Yes, you know me and where I am from." But in chapter 8, the Savior, still in the temple, declares to the Pharisees that, "You do not know me or my father." Both statements, though seeming to contradict, were accurate. They knew he was from Nazareth but they did not realize he was from heaven. They knew Joseph was his father but in the larger sense, they could not grasp that GOD was his FATHER. The people were relying on limited information to make an inaccurate judgement on the Messiah from Galilee.
Many failed to correct their interpretation, even after an explanation from the lips of Jesus. I hope what I read about Morrison, the musical genius from Ulster, is wrong but there seems enough material to send up warning flags. I can survive with an incorrect evaluation on who the real Van Morrison might be, and let me reiterate that my updated information is incomplete at best. (Morrison himself laughs off the accusations of personality prickliness and says they are just the result of lazy journalists. I hope he's right!) I don't have that luxury with Jesus Christ: I either know him or I do not. In this case, I don't need google to help me decide.

To listen to Van Morrison play and sing Tupelo Honey, click or copy/paste the link below:

Applicable quote of the day:
"You can't stop us on the road to freedom;
You can't keep us 'cause our eyes can see;
Men with insight,
Men in granite,
Knights in armor intent on chivalry."

Van Morrison/ Tupelo Honey

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

JT said...

It is easy for people to put up a good front to impress people. It is difficult to impress God. He sees our heart. God bless you.