How’s Your Slumber?

I heart satellite radio and when I’m in the car that’s what’s on. Sirius XM The Message is the flavor of choice. And the song that is running through my head today is “Slumber” by NeedtoBreathe. “Wake on up from your slumber, baby, open up your eyes.” That’s the chorus. Here’s a youtube link if you’re curious:
Every time I hear this song, I hear something new. And it’s haunting me.
“All these victims stand in line for crumbs that fall from the table, just enough to get by, all the while your invitation… wake on up from your slumber, baby, open up your eyes.”
Is this song simply about how, here in my cushy little suburban life, I’m insulated from the pain of the outside world? I need a wake-up call? But there is pain and poverty here, too. There’s the mother of a classmate of Clara’s who can’t read and write and therefore can’t get her driver’s license. There’s the family whose father has been out of work for months. Just enough to get by. Or there’s the friend who doesn’t think anyone notices he’s sneaking off to satisfy his addiction. And in my work with Compassion Tea, there’s a larger picture of pain and poverty, of malnutrition, dirty water, sporadic medical care in rural Africa.
No. There’s more to this song, to this wake-up call. In fact, wake-up calls are everywhere. On the rare occasions I turn on the TV and watch something not on cable or “On Demand,” I’m shocked by the droves of celebrities who are supporting and promoting different causes, who are attempting to open up our eyes. There is a cause for nearly everything, it seems. What color is your ribbon? Pink? Yellow? Rainbow?
In many respects, simply feeding the victims is too easy. It’s so easy for us to say, “Hey, I’m doing my part!” I can buy products labeled “green” and feel like “Hey, I’m doing my environmental good deed for the day.” I can put a quarter in the folder on the bagel shop counter and support children with leukemia. Or I can donate a dollar every time I shop at a certain store to support their cause of the month. That’s just too easy and regretfully impersonal.
There’s more to this invitation to wake up. And I think it’s personal.
“Hearts are stronger after broken.”
It’s personal in that we are all sleeping in some way, not fully living. Are we asleep to hide some pain? Is it a drug addiction? Is it a status and fame addiction? Is it abuse? Is it alcohol abuse? Are we sleeping to hide the past? Something we think we can’t be forgiven for? Something we can’t forgive? Are we sleeping out of fear? Fear of driving, bridges, open places, heights, failure, sickness, the monsters in the closet, of letting people see who we really are, of death? How’s your slumber?
Recognizing our individual brokenness is where compassion begins. Once you’ve opened up your eyes to see, feel, and experience another’s brokenness, how can you shut them again without wanting to help?
And it’s personal in that it’s an invitation from our God to engage with Him. Compassion comes first from God, like a father wiping away the tears from the cheeks of his little girl who scraped her knee. Can you feel it?
“Sing like you used to. Dance like you want to. Come on darling open up your eyes.”
You know, people who talk in their sleep don’t remember it the next morning. People who walk in their sleep don’t remember their wanderings the next day. In order to remember, experience completely and fully, one has to be awake. If we’re slumbering, how can we sing in that full-throated way of a little child full of joy? If we’re slumbering, how can we dance with the abandon of our earlier, less burdened days? If we’re not in a tight relationship with God, if we’ve gone to sleep on Him, how can we feel the longing of His compassion to reach out, to interact, to be the hands and hearts and feet of God on Earth? I for one miss abandon. How’s your slumber?
“Wake on up from your slumber, baby, open up your eyes.”

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