I’ve had Propaganda’s “Excellent” on repeat since he released it. I find myself enjoying it more the more I listen to it. The more I reflect on it the more I appreciate the artistry. With each listen I pick up another allusion or word play that I missed the first time. But I can’t stop thinking about one song: “Precious Puritans.”
But not for the reason you might guess. All the conversation surrounding the song is helpful. I appreciate much of the back forth and noticed people have a tough time disagreeing about something so polarizing as race issues without taking it too personal. That’s healthy. That’s family.
But enough of that. What struck me was, “So, I guess it’s true. God really does use crooked sticks to make straight lines.” That phrase kept replaying in mind. Over and over. Non-stop.
If you knew my history with sin. . .
If you knew the depth of depravity in my heart. . .
If you knew my daily struggle. . .
After starting this blog I struggled for three or four months. I knew my sin. I felt the weight of that sin. If you knew. . .
Christ gave me victory but I kept hearing this voice, “You’re a dirty sinner. You don’t deserve to share the gospel with people. God won’t use you because of your sin.”
I had a lot of doubts--even though I know the gospel and frequently preached it to you myself. I couldn’t quite shake that parseltongue voice.
Finally a few encouraging words from my community group leader settled the matter for me. But it’s still a doubt I have to put to death. Especially when the shadow of depression creeps up, the doubts come with it and I fight with faith.
But Prop’s last line. “So, I guess it’s true.” That precious last line. “God really does use crooked sticks to make straight lines” was an arrow to the heart of the dragon. I not only knew why God could use me but Prop’s words allowed me to place my story of hurt, pain, and dark sin within the context of God’s story.
Let’s not squabble here about whose sin is worse. My sin is black like a cockroach though. Your sin, your struggle, your dark passenger ain’t pretty either. But it ain’t gonna stop God. He wrote the story. Your filthy rags are part of his plot. Our sin is paltry compared to the power of God.
So there ain’t no stick so crooked that God can’t make it straight. So sinners and saints
. . . say in your heart:
I will arise and go to my Father.