The Gospel According to Gaga
I came home early from work yesterday, which meant I got the TV and the remote all to myself! I was free to flip and surf as much as I wanted! And, I got to watch all the stuff that nobody else wants to watch! But I digress….
The real point of this is to share what I heard God saying in one of the most unexpected places. Flipping around the music channels, I ran across an interview with Lady Gaga, who was talking about her new album “The Fame Monster.” There were several things that jumped out at me:
Much of the album deals with the need for relationship and the want for the type of relationship where we’re open to share our “horrors” with one another. The realization that true love comes out of the ability to lay our burdens on one another, and not from playing games or telling lies to one another to make each other feel better. Lady Gaga is offering herself as this “lover” who is willing to take on the horrific part of being human for the sake of love. Now, call me weird, but isn’t that how God loves us? Isn’t he asking us to lay our burdens, our fears, our baggage, our horrors, on him and let him love us completely despite all of that?
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
~Matthew 11:28-30 NLT~
Another thing she says is in reference to the term “monsters.” She calls her fans monsters because, in her words, “we identify with one another. I see myself in them, and they see themselves in me. I felt like a freak for so long…and I think they feel like they’re freaks.” This reminds me that we are made in God’s image, and, not only that, he became like one of us through Jesus Christ so that he could save us from our own messed-up, human existence. We are God’s little “monsters.” (I refer you to another bit of pop culture: Good Monsters by Jars of Clay) God relates to us and wants us to relate to him through the humanity of Jesus. Christ suffered the temptations and torments of human life so that he could fully substitute himself for our atonement and give us an example of abundant life.
When asked “Do you feel like a freak now?,” Lady Gaga responds:
In the beginning it was like a boxing match…I felt like Rocky because I was this performance artist that was coming out of a commercial market that wants me to…look like all the girls in the magazines, and I never really conformed to that. That was a difficult challenge, but when you stick to who you are, you carve out a space for yourself that nobody can steal from you.
Wow, does this speak volumes! How many of us try to conform to the world, or even conform to the kind of Christian that the church tells us we should be!? Have you carved out your space in the world, in the church? Have you found your true self that is rooted in who God made you to be? Only one thing comes to mind:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
~Romans 12:2 NLT~
I definitely feel like I’m outside of the box on this whole thing. But I realize that God can redeem even the most unconventional things for his purposes. Think about your children, think about teens that you might work with or know, think about the kids that go to your church. How might this conversation open their eyes to how God really loves them? Can they see the Gospel in the context of popular culture? We need these discussions!
Finally, I see that this artist is seeking something. She is describing, through her music, all of these aspects of God, but does she realize it? Does she know that all of these things can be found and fulfilled in the loving arms of a God who created us? I pray that she might get the chance to understand that some day. Maybe I, or one of you, will get the opportunity to share that with her. Would you be up to the challenge?
You can see the entire interview with Lady Gaga here. I specifically reference portions from the segments entitled “The Writing Process” and “Monsters.”