These Lyrics Have to Speak for Me Now as I Can’t Talk About It

I am fighting back the strong, strong urge right now to write about an ongoing situation in my life that is a real big deal to me, my educational future and my work. When the time comes all of the details will be released. Or not. I don’t know. I want to, but I’m trying really darn hard to be “the bigger man” in this whole situation. But if the other entity keeps trying to play everyone stupid by retroactively continuing to label their actions in an unharmful, favorable way for them, I don’t know if I can keep my mouth shut any longer. For now, I will.

Your prayers for my heart are more than appreciated. I have so many very strong feelings of anger, betrayal, pain and an ever-growing hatred toward this entity that I need to catch myself now before I do something I will regret. As my wife is telling me, I need to move forward in a manner not based on revenge (which it would be if I wrote about all the details right now) but based on a level head focused on justice – with the appropriate steps, representation and documentation in place. So that is what I am going to try to do right now.

Below you will find some fitting lyrics that I listened to last night on my way to our Living in the Tension Gathering before these new developments dropped. Hope these lyrics impact you as much they did to me.

“I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody, come take my hand.

Yeah, it’s been a ride. But I guess we need to go to that place to get to this one.

We’ll walk this road together through the storm, whatever weather comes along. Let you know you’re not alone. Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.

You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay them. But you won’t take the sting out these words before I say them.

Cause there’s no way I’m going to let you stop me from [standing up].

When I say I’m going to do something I do it. I don’t [care].

What do you think? I’m doing this for me? … I’m going to be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly …

Ok. Quit playing with the scissors, and cut the crap.

You said you were King.

You lied through your teeth …

And all those who look down on me I’m tearing down your balcony.

No if ands or buts; don’t try to ask me why or how can I. ”

Eminem: Not Afraid

The other one is a song that touched me deeply when I was in middle/high school in the mid 90s and strangely enough speaks clearly to this current situation: Mr. Wendal by Arrested Development

“Here, have a dollar, in fact no brotherman here, have two. Two dollars means a snack for me, but it means a big deal to you.

Be strong, serve God only, know that if you do, beautiful Heaven awaits. That’s the poem I wrote for the first time when I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate.

Mr.Wendal, that’s his name, no one ever knew his name cause he’s a no-one. Never thought twice about spending on a ol’ bum, until I had the chance to really get to know one. Now that I know him, to give him money isn’t charity. He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes.

And to think people spend all that money on big colleges, still most of y’all come out confused.

Mr.Wendal has freedom, a free that you and I think is dumb. Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society for Mr.Wendal’s a bum. His only worries are sickness and an occasional harassment by the police and their chase. Uncivilized we call him, but I just saw him eat off the food we waste.

Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no? Who are we to judge?

Mr.Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways but we don’t hear him talk.

Is it his fault when we’ve gone too far, and we got too far, cause on him we walk?

Mr.Wendal, a man, a human in flesh, but not by law. I feed you dignity to stand with pride, realize that all in all you stand tall.

Lord, Lord, Mr.Wendal”

Let all of those words speak for me right now.

Much love.

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • http://beckydurham.net Becky

    I had the lyrics to Mr. Wendal stuck in my head yesterday. Good song.

    I’m sorry you’re going through whatever right now. Hang in there!

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Thanks Becky. You know, it’s like you can only take so much. There’s only so much ‘standing up’ one can do until it’s time to stop trying to discern what to say and what to not say out of respect for others and just let all the details come forth naming names. I don’t want to be that guy. I’m just so hurt I don’t know if there are any other options. It’s too much when an entitiy labels ‘abuse’ as ‘reconciliation’. Your prayers are so appriciated.

      • http://beckydurham.net Becky

        It’s hard to take the high road some times. I did pray and I will pray for discernment and peace!

  • Julie

    Hey Andrew, praying for you.
    I’m so sorry that there are people out there who don’t get what you’re doing. I’m here to remind you and encourage you that there are so many people who appreciate you. Hang in there!

  • http://leavingda99@blogspot.com Leneita

    Hey Andrew-

    You know you guys are always in our prayers here. You get knocked over enough and it isn’t that you can’t get up anymore. It is more that you get up and finally lay a punch in the jaw of the guy who keeps pushing you.

    I have been chewing on a thought for about a week now. I hope I am able to communicate it without it sounding condescending or trite.

    This past Sunday our pastor talked about what it means to “Take Up Your Cross” and Follow Christ from Luke. We always feel like we have heard that statement so many times. I think we think it is supposed to give us a super human power to get through the moments when life stinks out loud. But, honestly some days it feels like a statement made in an echo chamber.

    But- pastor mapped it out. He talked about being whipped. He talked about how many who were “flogged” would be disemboweled because there was nothing left to hold them together afterwards. Then he talked of the ridicule. The pain. The shame. A death like a criminal. Staring into the eyes of helpless loved ones who don’t know how to help, and can not. Dragging this instrument of death around.

    Not referring to a piece of jewelry we wear. Not referring to a bad day. This is not bearing our Christ. It is basically dying a brutal death. DAILY.

    That is what stood out to me. I realized that the words say Daily. But really I was looking at it like in my relationship with Christ I picked up the cross and then dragged it around with me. But, even that I got comfortable with. I thought I had no pride. I thought I was good at just being in love with my Savior. I thought I was good at putting other first.

    Nope. My pride is still intact. I am self- righteous.

    I now see I pick up that cross again- new and fresh everyday. I experience all of it every day. Like stuck in “Ground- Hog Day.” I need to every day do it all over again. How can I not for this one who loved me in my wretchedness. Maybe once and for all I can find true humility?

    So rant- and hurt and be angry. Tell your very Big God how much you are ready to punch everyone in the gut. Scream LOUD.
    I know that tomorrow you will pick up your cross again. Because you are called. You are compelled. To fight with Him. For those that have no voice.

    To love like he does. You never do any less Andrew. Never.

    (This was too long- feel free to delete it :)

    • Kevin Harris

      Wow…..that will preach. Although if it was actually preached in churches that following Christ meant dying like you wrote and sharing in the brutal suffering of Christ and we actually believed that in our hearts, I’m not sure how many would truly try to follow Jesus, myself included.

      Thanks for the sobering reminder that is unsettling and encouraging at the same time.

  • Seth

    I can only imagine what might be troubling you, and knowing a little of your personality–WYSIWYG, and pulling no punches–I’m certain that your issues are valid. You are entirely welcome to give me a call if you’d like to talk some–100% discretion guaranteed–but I’m also relatively certain that you have a supportive network of folks who will also listen. For myself, I find it helpful to talk through stuff just to recover some perspective–it rarely helps to keep things bottled up. In the meantime, two things come to mind:

    1) You have a prophetic personality, and (in my own estimation) the gift of prophecy. That’s a mixed bag, because a lot of people aren’t gonna like the truth you speak. When you get weary, I encourage you to read Jeremiah’s lament (in Lamentations–where else?)–the one that inspired the hymn “Great is thy Faithfulness.” Read Elijah’s complaint, when he encountered God as the “still small voice.” And read Jonah’s complaint, after his successful mission to Nineveh (you always remind me most of Jonah, BTW). Finally, I recommend the very last passage of Habakkuk, who was watching his community go to hell, but found it possible to bless God. These are all ways in which God worked with his prophets, and one or more of them might be resonant for you.

    2. From my own experience, I’d say “Find the high road and take it.” I am eager to hear the details, mostly out of concern for you, but partly out of an opportunity to bash a third party for my own satisfaction. Where’s the love in that? Let me add that the last time I decided to spill some of my recent angst, I felt like sh*t afterwards. No vindication at all, even though everything I said was true. There’s a an old adage that “discretion is the better part of valor,” and I think it’s true.

    So hang in there, my friend, and do what you can to reframe your picture. Jesus caught a lot of flak for you, and you’re just getting a taste of it!

    Love,

    Seth

  • http://six11.wordpress.com Shawn

    Praying for you friend.

    As hard as they try, man can not stop the work God is doing (and wants to do). Acts 5:39 My prayer for you, Andrew, is that you continue to walk IN the power and presence of Christ.

    You have my number – call anytime.

  • Luke

    Hi Andrew,
    Sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I don’t really know what it’s all about, but my encouragement to you is that once it’s over and time has passed, the emotions and pain you’ve been through now will help you connect to and identify with others face by injustice, who have been abused by institutions and the webs of deceitful words they spin around their violence as they seek to preserve themselves and their interests. I’m thinking specifically of how this happens to LGBTQ people all the time. I have no idea if your situation relates to your ministry, but even if it doesn’t, it can still further your work of bridge-building. Blessings!

    p.s. On a final note, as my Mom always taught me, words are like toothpaste – very easy to let out, impossible to put back in ;) Speak truth but do it wisely and with gently!

  • Ricky

    Andrew,
    I pray God grants you peace and blesses you and your family. Keep up the Good fight, and fight hard =)

  • Br. Michael

    Wow! You amaze me Br. Andrew. You have come a long way. And there is much more way to go. “It gets better.” You see, being a homophobe takes a lot more angry heart than what you are feeling today. What you may be feeling is peace and awareness that you have been chosen. You are one of the bridges! And no one can take that from you, not even you….Once again, God is in control. Amen Br. Andrew.

  • Mrs T

    Please, don’t publicly name any names. You can’t undo that. Just pick a few select friends/relatives & vent to them regularly. That way the toothpaste stays in the tube as someone said on this thread!
    We need to get together to pray. See how important prayer is!!

  • Eugene

    Stay strong, Andrew!

    And if you decide to name the names, don’t do it impulsively – like with that Gagnon guy. Think the whole thing through.

  • http://www.peachiespromise.blogspot.com Stephanie Williams

    Hang in there, Andrew. Let God be your defender. You have a lot of people praying for you, including me. I, too, am very inspired by song lyrics, so I share a song that’s important to me right now:
    Don’t Look Down by Joy Whitlock
    This could be your best work yet. Have you got the stomach for this? Come on, dig deep. What have you got left to lose? Tragedy is half the fight. Are you willing to lose your life? Come on, let it bleed. There’s nothing you can hide from Me. Cause I know you’ve been here before. I’ve seen the scars: the price, it’s too high –what if you fall again? then I’ll fall too. Straighten up, eyes ahead. Look for Me. You don’t have to be scared, don’t be scared, and don’t look down. Regret has pierced your heart. Gravity has left its mark. But I’m playing for keeps. Even death can’t do us part.

    I’m sure that doesn’t exactly speak to your situation but…there it is. Keep your eyes on Jesus!

  • http://lbcarizona.wordpress.com Linda Sullivan

    Have been praying for this situation, Andy, and as it sounds like it is weighing very heavily on you, will continue to bring it to the King, truly. My heart rejoices in seeing the changed lives and the great understanding that your ministry is bringing to others. It has had this effect in my own life in the past few years; I can only ask the Lord to multiply that understanding among those who yet do not see the vision, the Truth, the need for this approach and posture.

    For you, brother, with you and your wife and your ministry now and forward,
    Linda

  • ~steveT

    am~

    the more we communicate, the more i’m able to hear and interpret what your heart aches to say. it’s a beautiful evidence of how the Spirit bonds and connects in ways that really matter. music often says it so much better than we’re able. check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiL_HWy8puA

    to all of the rest of us…….

    this brotherboy needs not only our encouragement but solid financial support right now. these are scary times. tell your friends….gay and straight about how this guy is reminding you of Jesus…..He actually follows in Him in a world full of people who often opt for the easier path. if each of us would step out….find one more person to lend him some aid, we could change the lyrics to some of the songs running in his head right now and have complete confidence that we were getting off our duffs and doing a little of Jesus following ourselves. the challenge is there. i’ll match whoever else responds to this. we are His hands and feet….let us be His heart and act as well.

    ~steveT

  • Derek Sire

    Andrew -

    May God give you inner peace and the love with which to love those who harm you. I’m so sorry things are rough.

    Hang on. And remember God is hanging onto you.

    Derek

  • Jerry

    As the father of a gay son who lives near you in Chicago, thank you so much for your loving and truth filled heart. It is so hard for us on this side of the journey to look past (sometimes we shouldn’t) the pain others cause. So thankful for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/FaithHopeLoveGLBT Julie Sykes

    OH MY! I know I’m a few months behind on reading this post, but I couldn’t stop myself from replying! MR. WENDAL!!! I love it! Mr. Wendal is my ringtone – I don’t care how long ago that song came out – it has been inside of me every since the first time I heard it. I teach it to my middle school students every year when we are studying poetry. At first, they always laugh, because the song came out way before their time, but it never fails to leave an impression on them by the end of the lesson.


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