CBC had an idea for a Great Canadian Sing Along where Canadians would pick one inspirational song and then people from all over the country would send in videos from home of themselves singing the song. The song Canadians picked was very telling. It was “Lost Together” by that quintessential Canadian band, Blue Rodeo. The song, which was posted on May 14, is about two lovers who find completeness in each other, and even if they are lost, at least they have each other:
And I want all the world to know
That your love’s all I need
All that I need…
And if we’re lost
Then we are lost together
Now having married my high school sweetheart, I can identify with the intensity and longevity of human love. In the context of the coronavirus, when sung by the whole country, I’m assuming it is an anthem of a love for humanity that we all share. That love is supposed to be big enough to take us through crisis. The problem is, it isn’t. “We’re all in this together,” is a comforting slogan, but not if we are on the Titanic. Then it just means that we are all going down. What we really need is a rescuing kind of love that is much bigger than ourselves. A divine love.
I do not claim to speak for Canadians. In fact, I often find myself at odds with current Canadian values. But I did grow up stereotypically Canadian: playing hockey, drinking beer, going to church for weddings and funerals. Religious, but only in a distant-memory, inherited-culture kind of way. Towards the end of my university life I was experiencing what theologians call the “god-shaped hole.” That is where we try to fill the void in our heart with things that are not God: Sex,Education,Drugs,Career. It doesn’t really matter what it is; it is not enough. I had tried everything my culture told me I needed to be fulfilled, yet I still felt something was missing. Only God can fill a God-shaped hole. So I opened my heart to the possibility of a bigger, divine love. And at the age of 24, after feeling very lost, I got found. By Jesus.
I have lived my life as a Jesus Follower since then. No regrets. Jesus has given my life peace and purpose. A solid foundation. Many people have been understandably shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic. The things that once looked strong, are looking rather flimsy these days. In our culture we look for government or experts to save us. They cannot. Governments print money and experts contradict each other and change their minds every few days. We need more than big government and loud opinions right now. We need a big God and time-tested wisdom.
CBC is not the only network that released a country-wide song online. On May 16 a network of churches from all across Canada posted a video of worshippers singing a song called “The Blessing.” It is basically a prayer sung over the country:
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face shine upon you
The Lord bless you and keep you
And bring you peace
Nothing against Blue Rodeo, but I think this is a much more hopeful song to sing. It is sung by people who have thrown their lot in with Jesus and built their life on the time-tested wisdom of the Bible. As followers of Jesus, we believe that no matter what happens, God is ultimately for us and will either rescue us in this life or the next. We believe that if we open up our hearts to Him, He will forgive us, cleanse us, and guide us. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says: ” If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their evil ways, I (the Lord) will hear from heaven and heal their land.” That invitation is open to all if us. This is a good time for us to examine our lives and determine what is true, important, and lasting. The Bible says that when we turn to God and live by His principles, that His favor will be upon us for a thousand generations.
All of us start out with a god-shaped hole in our hearts. All of us start out lost. But the good news is that we don’t have to stay that way. We can be found together.