Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hearing the Unconditional in "All of Me" by John Legend

I knew the chorus to "All of Me" by John legend (You Tube link with lyrics below), and found it truly poetic and beautiful, but didn't really appreciate hearing it in my church. I'm a bit off put by using secular songs, especially secular love songs being used to illustrate God's love. If you try to make the straight comparison throughout an entire songs lyrics of human love, something always falls horribly apart - cheating, lust, possessiveness, hurt, anger, fantasy, loss, unrequited love, once had now gone...something decidedly human I don't want in a God's love for me.

And yet, "love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections," while starting with a sensual image quickly moves to the psyche and the whole person. It sounds just like unconditional love! "You're my end and my beginning, even when I lose I'm winning."

"The Curve of the Hip" copyright Heather J. Kirk

Most people growing up in the United States have heard the verses used most often to refer to God's love (whether we truly understand or accept it or not), John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

The Sun's Son Cross Callage
And we have heard the seemingly impossible high bar set for human love so often heard at weddings, that we think is beautiful, but don't really believe will last past the first few years of marriage, I Corinthians 13:4 - 8: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

But what comes to mind here in the song "All of Me" is not a love that has to die or work really hard, but a love that just IS, like that found in Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Did you catch that beautiful part? "While we were still sinners.." To be loved and accepted just like you are, just like I am, "all your curves and all your edges"! You don't have to figure it all out or change to meet the requirements before being loved, you ARE loved with "all your perfect imperfections"!

For the first time I decided to listen to ALL the words, and decided this is  how I want to love and be loved, and I almost see myself as that girl being sung to, the one who is sometimes confused, "drawing me in and you kicking me out, no kidding, got my head spinning,  I can't pin you down, what's going on in that beautiful mind?"

"Vulnerability" copyright Heather J. Kirk

People ARE inconsistent sometimes, as humans we become doubtful of the others affections, then love with wild abandon, we have good days and bad days, we fear and mistrust, then throw caution to the wind and trust completely, and bring it back round again.

Sequined Photographer copyright by Heather J KirkYet to be told in spite of that, "'Cause all of me, loves all of you!" That's how we want to be loved, how we want to love, both with each other and with God. "Give your all to me, I'll give my all to you. You're my end and my beginning, even when I lose I'm winning."

Listen to "All of Me" by John Legend and read the lyrics here:

Heather J. Kirk Art by Heather J. Kirk
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#allofme #johnlegend #unconditionallove