what does india.arie have to do with worship?
i was really struck by this sade song recently that india.arie remixed on her new album. it’s a song of solidarity remembering women who are suffering throughout various parts of africa. the tag line goes “and it hurts like brand new shoes”…..i don’t know about you but this analogy stuck with me for awhile…. maybe because i wear a lot of heels?? and being flat-footed, my feet have sacrificed plenty for the sake of the call!
shoe analogies have historically carried significance whether marking time or breadth, i.e. “if s/he walked a mile in my shoes…” ” to stand in so and so’s shoes” etc. so, given this analogy, i wonder if it’s an excellent way of describing the tension that exists between pain and hope, new and old, reality and promise. the pain felt when wearing brand new shoes holds within it both the reality of the now (pain) and the hope of the shoe eventually becoming that favorite “go to” pair when worn long enough. all in all, it’s kind of a bittersweet reality, much like what we encounter in our everyday lives.
as the song continues, it breaks into a repetitive chorus of “hallelujah’s.”… really? this is a lament song…. at least it makes the listener think it is up until this point. hallelujah in lament? praise in the midst of pain? that’s just beautiful. that’s…..WORSHIP! that’s like jesus’ prayer in gethsemane before his crucifixion – “not my will but yours”…knowing that our present circumstances don’t have the last word…BUT GOD!
friends, be encouraged as you hear this song of praise….lament praise. may you walk in the shoes of the one who has already “broken in” the inflexibilities of this life and has gone before, who has already turned your sorrow to joy! walk in those shoes.