DayBreaks for 08/02/13 – A Broken Hallelujah
“I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch but love is not a victory march, It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah…I did my best it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel so I learned to touch. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.” – Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah
Perhaps you’ve seen the animated movie Shrek that was so popular a year or two ago. It’s the story of an “ugly green ogre” who lives in a swamp who, under the direction of an egotistical prince who wants the princess for his bride, sets out to rescue a princess from a tower in order to fulfill a selfish desire to have his own part of the swamp so he can enjoy peace and quiet. When Shrek (that’s the name of the ogre) finds the princess and brings her back, he eventually falls in love with her, unaware that she’s been under a spell and is in reality, an ogre, too.
In the movie is a song by Leonard Cohen, and some of the words are printed above. It’s a song about love, faith, God and the discovery of our own brokenness. I had heard the portion of the song that is played in the movie, but I’d not seen nor caught all the words until I looked it up on the internet. Though I don’t know for sure what was on the composer’s mind when he penned the words, I was even more touched by the emotion that the song expresses when I’d seen all the words.
You see, I think the song might be about our understanding and expression of love – whether to one another, or to God. Love has a way of humbling us, and at its very best, “…it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah” – meaning that our love and the way we express and receive it, are at best broken and imperfect. I think of the times I’ve failed my wife, my children, my friends. Do I love them? Absolutely! But my love was imperfect. And I’ve acted coldly towards them at times.
And what about God and my expression of love for him? My failures are even more pronounced on that score. I didn’t mean for my love to be so broken and flawed – but it has been. I remember the ambition of my youth and the fire I felt in my soul…and I wonder sometimes where it went. “It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah…”, isn’t it? And although the plans I may have had for my own life to serve Him may have flopped, I know that “…even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.” But here’s the point: I don’t fear standing before the Lord of Song with my failures and all, with nothing but a praise on my lips, because He loves me beyond all reason, beyond all my wildest dreams, and beyond all time. And He loves you just the same way, in spite of your own broken Hallelujahs of service and intent.
Rev. 19:6-8 – “6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
PRAYER: Thank You for accepting my broken Hallelujah and loving me with a perfect one! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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