I heard John singing in the kitchen as he did the dishes.
“I’ve paid my dues. Time after time. I’ve done my sentence, but committed no crime. And bad mistakes – I’ve made a few. I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I’ve come through…”
What in the world???
We usually do the dishes together, but tonight I had asked him if he would do them while I finished wrapping the Christmas presents. He had seemed willing – even glad to do them…but now he was singing this unknown song full of angst. “…it’s been no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I ain’t gonna lose.”
I walked the few steps into the kitchen. “What are you singing?”
John grinned and brandished the dishtowel. “We are the champions – my friends. And we’ll keep on fighting till the end. We are the champions. We are the champions. No time for losers…’cause we are the champions of the world!”
Of course I had heard that chorus dozens of times, but I don’t think I ever listened to the verses. I was that very awkward young girl with my nose stuck in a book, sometimes listening to Simon and Garfunkel, or Chad and Jeremy.
Back when John was going to see Queen in concert, the only queens I knew of were Guinevere and Galadriel, and some of their sisters who ruled England.
The dishes finished, John came and sat beside me on floor and pulled out his i-phone.
“Buddy you’re a boy make a big noise
Playing in the street gonna be a big man some day
You got mud on your face You big disgrace
Kickin’ your can all over the place
We will, we will rock you. We will, we will rock you.”
We sat watching Queen, followed by Kansas, Charlie Daniels Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I’ve always told John that when I was younger and he was cooler, I would have been so shy I would have walked across the street to avoid coming in contact with him and his very cool group of friends.
He would not have said anything mean or flirty (I don’t think). He was cool but he was also kind. The point is, he wouldn’t have paid any attention to me.
So John was busy being cool and hanging out, and I was busy being cautious and hiding out. But somehow we met in the middle.
“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall.
I really don’t know clouds at all.”
Okay Joni Mitchell, we’ve seen both sides now, and you were right. We really don’t know clouds. But we have learned that God had a bigger plan than either of ours. “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
December 6, 2015 at 9:47 am
I find myself having nostalgia attacks more frequently these days, and your post sparked yet another one. Born in 1950, the 70’s were were my 20’s. For me, it was a memorable decade marked by a slow drift from and sudden turn back toward the Christian faith of my childhood. And through it all, for better or worse, pop music was center stage. The 70’s produced iconic bands that influenced me greatly – Kansas, Styx, Eagles, Queen, Journey, Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, etc. In 1977, at the height (or depth) of my years as a Wayward Son, the new Kansas album, “Point of Know Return” brought goose bumps as I realized nearly every song was about Christ or Christianity. What?! My favorite rock band, Kansas, was secretly an underground Christian group!? My worlds collided. I turned a corner. And I have been sailing toward that point of Know return ever since. Other bands’ songs now took on a Christian perspective for me, like Styx “Show Me the Way” and “Come Sail Away”. Music is a powerful force in our culture – for good or bad. We’ve seen Joni’s clouds from both sides now, experienced Stevies’s landslide, cried with Don on that starry starry night, and walked along the road with Dan. But in the end, it’s only Jesus that can rescue us from becoming nothing more than dust in the wind.
December 6, 2015 at 10:34 am
Awesome commentary Wayne. Thank you!
December 6, 2015 at 11:04 am
Loved this post!
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