My youth director’s favorite example of finding God in the media was the song “Open Arms” by Journey. He was listening to the song in his car one day, when the following interpretation for it simply hit him…very hard, apparently, for he always cried when speaking of it afterward.
Listen to it first before hearing the Christian interpretation of it.
Here is the song: Open ArmsLyrics
Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your heart beat with mine
Softly you whisper, you're so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are, by my side
My youth director saw the words of this stanza being sung from his own perspective, the perspective of a sinner who “drifted apart” from Christ, only to find that there Christ was by his side—He had never left. Lying in bed at night while you pray, thinking of all those times that you abandoned God in favor of sin...haven't you ever wondered how He could forgive so unfaithful a lover? How "blind" is His Love, in that respect!
So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you'll see what your love means to me
The chorus is Jesus speaking, and His arms are not only open in welcome; they are open on the Cross, open in the truest Love, just hoping that we will realize how much He Loves us. Just hoping that we will choose to Love Him with heart, mind, and soul, that we will choose to be happy with Him in heaven forever.
Living without you, living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home
My youth director sees this stanza through his own view again. Isn’t the house--our very lives--cold and empty without Christ in them? “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O God.” Sometimes, we search for God without our even knowing it. That is how my youth director saw these lyrics. Personally, when I first read the lyrics, I thought of these words through Christ’s eyes. The house is the Tabernacle. Jesus, in a vision, once said to St. Josepha that the hearts which receive Him in the Eucharist are sometimes colder than the stones beneath His feet were, that night in prison before He was crucified. Today, in the Tabernacle, Christ Himself—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—waits for us to receive Him in Communion. He dwells in the Tabernacles throughout the world, the Divine Prisoner. In human terms, how cold and lonely that little house must be! Jesus wants to embrace everyone who has ever lived and who ever will…but how few come to Him with open and loving hearts in Holy Communion! When I think of all the chances I have missed to sit with the Divine Prisoner in Adoration, I think of these lines in this song.
Now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O God.” And once they rest in You, once they have felt your grace and Love, they can never truly go back. There is no experience so terrible, no circumstance so sorrowful, that can ever fully erase God from our memory. Finding Jesus truly does “turn night into day”. This song is not a Christian song; it’s a love song. But when we listen to it through the lens of our Love for Jesus…what a perfect Love song it is! Have you ever found Jesus like this, unexpected and unlooked for in a secular song?