Drums banging; rough shouting and strident noise; that’s all I heard. I walked down the hall to Max’s room with my hands held tightly over my ears. I stamped my feet, to get his attention.
He looked up; startled. Sheepishly, he lowered the volume of the radio.
“Honestly, Max. How can you listen to that junk?”
Max shrugged his shoulders. “I like it, Mom.”
Max isn’t a bad kid. His hair is neatly styled – though it’s longer than I wish it was. His jeans are usually clean – though why they need holes in them to be stylish is beyond me. His room is relatively clean - most of the time - and we hadn’t begun to argue about the music he listened to until a few months ago. “Max, I thought we had an agreement. I thought we agreed you’d only listen to Christian music.”
“This IS Christian music, Mom.”
“That GARBAGE is Christian music?”
“Yeah, it is. Look at the CD cover.” He held up the cover. On the front was a winged dressmakers’ dummy with a coiled snake sitting on its neck. The name on the cover said “Skillet: Collide”.
“Skillet? The only skillet I know is the black one I cook in. And ‘collide’ isn’t something I want you to do. Don’t even get me started on the cover picture; what is THAT supposed to mean? Anyway: the only thing I heard was a bunch of noise. I want you to listen to music that glorifies God.”
He came closer and pulled out the page that was folded into the CD cover. On back of it were the printed lyrics of the songs. He held them out to me. “These songs do glorify God, Mom. Look at the words.”
I didn’t take the paper. “Max, I know there are Christian groups that sing hard rock. It’s just that… when I hear music like that, I can’t hear anything in it that speaks to me about God.”
Max smiled. “And when I listen to those old hymns you like, I can’t hear anything but boring.”
“Yeah, really.” He held the paper out to me, again. “You may not like what this stuff sounds like – and I’ll play it softer, out of respect for you, but listening to this music has really spoken to me about my faith. Some of the songs help me understand stuff I read in the Bible. Other songs are good for helping me express my feelings about God. Read the lyrics, Mom.”
So, I read the lyrics.
I didn’t even get past the title song: “Can we take a chance? When faith and fear collide.” I flashed back to just that morning and heard myself as I told God how scared I was about a situation in my life; how I wanted to trust Him and didn’t know how. Faith and fear – they were colliding for me. I read on; scanned some of the other songs.
Shaking my head in wonder, I gave the lyric page back to Max. He’d been listening to the CD again; more quietly this time. He gave me a look. “Well?” he said.
“OK, Max: I see what you mean. The words to these songs do speak about God and about the kind of things that will help you grow in your faith. The title song: ‘Collide’? I definitely get what it says about ‘where faith and fear collide’. I may not want to listen to this type of music, but I think I can understand why you do.”
He smiled and nodded. “So, can I turn it up?”
I smiled and handed him back the paper. “Don’t push your luck. I’m going back to my boring old hymns. I’ll leave the ‘colliding’ to you.”
Note: Lyrics are from the Skillet song, “Collide”.
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