It’s patently unfair.
I have a young man for a friend–and I say “young man” because he’s all of five or so months younger than I am–who had a band that, because the label was stupid and decided that they didn’t care about their original mission anymore, was pretty much driven right into the ground.
It’s a weird course of events, for me. I’d heard of The Normals before, sure, but I’d never paid their music any more mind than anything else I heard on the radio. [Living near Nashville, I’d heard them on the local “Christian radio” station a few times–not that I remember a song, but remembering the DJ’s saying “… and that was” some song “by The Normals”.
Because of all this, I’ve never seen The Normals play live. That’s almost as unfair as what Forefront did to The Normals.
But all that is mere prologue to this morning. For the last few weeks, I’ve had Coming to Life in my alarm clock’s CD player. As I’ve struggled to get into a different, waking-earlier sleep schedule, I’ve listened to this CD in that lovely, beautiful half-conscious state between sleep and wakefulness. It’s helped me to know the songs, as I seem to learn stuff in that state that I’d never learn anywhere else.
But just this morning, the fourth track, “We Are the Beggars at the Foot of God’s Door”, was the one where I began to have a state of wakefulness. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to be kinda dense when it comes to songs: I have to learn the song first and then really start to appreciate it for the message it sends–be that love, grace, bluesy pissed-offedness, or what have you.
This morning, I “got” the message of “We Are the Beggars” … because I was able to envision the whole situation: tired old men and women, sullenly begging outside the steps of a glorious mansion, each of us looking up and being captivated by the grace and glory of God. There we were, begging for a little money to get us through to the next paycheck, or a little food to calm the gnawing in the pit of our stomach, or a big promotion at work to “justify” all that work we’ve been putting in overtime trying to attain, hoping that the spit-shining would be noticed by someone other than the kids at home, left wondering where Dad is again … and we were given, individually and corporately, more than we could ever ask for, ever hope for, ever want … but all we’ve ever needed.
I then proceeded to just lay in my bed, doing my best to not sob so loudly as to wake the neighbors or my roommates, until I could control myself. Over and over, the voice of my heart was crying, “Thank you, God; thank you, Jesus.” It was a moment of pure emotion and grace the likes of which I haven’t seen since the night I accepted grace in the first place.
It’s so patently unfair. The wages of sin are death, and we get … this?
It’s so patently unfair. The wages of a hard-working band are a pittance, and then they are cast aside, chattel.
Andrew, it’s so unfair … but if Forefront hadn’t ever cut you guys, and if you hadn’t come into the Caedmon’s circle even more, I probably never would have had this moment. You might never have thought that much good could come from that crap situation, but … I’d say it has.
[N.B.: If you want a listen of the song, there’s a live version of the song on the ever-wonderful Ragamuffin server resource.]