Painted Without Makeup

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You’re a kid with a bullet soul

Bullet Soul
by Jon Foreman, performed by Switchfoot

I wanna sing one for all the dreamers
I’m singing this one for the sparks
Here’s one for the friction makers
We are the bleeding hearts
Don’t care whoever you are

We rise and fall together
Our hearts still beat below
You can’t stand by forever
You’re a kid with a bullet soul

Are you ready to go?
Are you ready to go?

I wanna turn up the radiation
I wanna glow in the dark
Love is the one true innovation
Love is the only art
Don’t let ’em blow it apart

We are the children of the scar
I wanna start from the start

This is one of my absolute favorite songs. It’s funny, then, that in finding the lyrics to post it on this blog entry I discovered that I have been singing it wrong; my favorite line of the song, in fact, does not exist. And all because of one little “r”:

“Here’s one for the friction makers…”

I definitely thought he said, “Here’s one for the fiction makers.”

With that confession on the table, I still think that the song is a fantastic anthem of purpose, especially the lines “Love is the one true innovation/Love is the only art.”

The reason that we need art (read, culture at large) is because it communicates deep truth that lectures of truth will not convey. In his awesome (and scholarly) book Planet Narnia, Michael Ward investigates C.S. Lewis’ motivation behind writing the collection of 7 Narnia books, what he calls the Narniad. It’s an awesome look into how Lewis’s personal passions–the 7 Medieval planets: Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus and Saturn–shaped each Chronicle.

But what kid needs to know that in order to reap the benefit of Narnia? Lewis allows the influenza (the air, the influence) of a planet to permeate each particular book and it gives us this wonderful sense of cohesion even if we can’t put our finger on it. God does this too, and I think any good author does it. But it’s not always clear on the surface level. Anyway, my point is that you don’t have to understand everything that’s happening behind a story in order to be impacted by it.

Not everything is a parallel. Sometimes there are just odd parts that can’t be explained right now. Deal with it and let the beauty of the art capture your heart and teach you deep truth. There is a time for war and a time for peace–with literature. Sometimes it’s good to fight through it all, other times it’s good to accept it on faith.

Tomorrow I start with the posts of my own art! Check back! :o)


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