The first time I heard and saw Flobots’ Handlebars, years ago, left me breathless (both videos) in the audio-wake of its perfect social commentary. Because it’s hard to see the children of yesterday or today as present-day terrorists, conspirators, and world despots. Because we want to believe the best of them — even the ones who began by boasting that they “could ride a bike with no handlebars”. The singing commentary leads you through the progression — from handlebars to holocaust — and tramples your heart and best beliefs in the process. But it hurts because it’s all true.
Do you ever sit and hang your head and wonder how to stop the world from being torn apart in modern-day colliders built by men rooted to wickedness — their money-eyed green leaves flashing their successes at the top like shady towers overhead? How often have you wished to scoop up those left out in the cold beneath the limbs of their warfare?
The more I learn, the more I find my own head in my hands and my own heart bent over in prayer: God… help us. How I would end corruption, exposing all the works of wickedness. How much I desire to heal the hurting, to be there before every suicide, before every killing, to plug the holes with my own fingers and set back time; to hug the lost and pull them away from the edge; to provide for the orphan and widow. How much and how many of us wish we could love the whole world beyond its hurts? The world is bleeding out in every direction addicted to cutting.
Even in my desire to fix the world, and especially in the despair of feeling it is beyond fixing, I return to God’s own heart in remembrance:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”Matthew 23:37
He could heal the world with a single word… but some loved darkness more than light (John 3). Jesus is that Word.
Christ’s work could have accomplished all of these things. His quest was in love, through love, by Love’s command; His goal was the way of reconciliation for mankind to their Creator… but they would not.
If Christ’s perfect work and mission was rejected by many, we must know that even our noblest imperfect works will be ridiculed and rejected as well. The world is a big place. There are a thousand noble missions worth the doing and, once done, a thousand more appear in their place.
The GREATEST work, however, was already done on behalf of this world, on behalf of every soul. And the One “necessary” thing won’t be taken from anyone gathering beneath His wings now (Luke 10:42)… but we can’t save the world.
Jesus already tried that.
Some refuse to be saved by His way. Was it any different in Noah’s day?
But we can gather.
All the more.
As we see the day drawing near…
There are things to do (read your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth text), but anyone under the impression that the world can be saved has forgotten that God already tried that — and if they would not all gather unto Him, do you really think you can save the world with your optimistic, declarative, or pacifying words? Not a chance.
I can save the world with a single word, a single Word… but it would not be saved. Call it fate or free will but that’s our reality. From a single command to a single Sacrifice, Eden’s garden to the midnight garden, all of this time passed is the Creator’s patience… and oh what patience!
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
For what good is the day of the Lord to you?
It will be darkness, and not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
And a bear met him!
Or as though he went into the house,
Leaned his hand on the wall,
And a serpent bit him!
Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?Amos 5:18-20
And oh what terror (for some) and glory (for others) awaits when that patience ends…
Therefore, be sober and alert. There won’t be handlebars where we’re headed.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.