Succulent.

So there’s this song in the world written by John Mark McMillan. The title of the song is “How He Loves”. the first time I ever heard this song was at Offerings. I went to an LCMS university, so it had the ability to sponsor several opportunities of worship throughout the week. Offerings was an hour of singing contemporary worship songs, split in half by a moment of contemplation over a chosen Bible passage. I loved Offerings for the start. I’m tone deaf, but it’s not even about the singing. I can’t express the feeling of being in a room full of other college students, singing your heart out for God, no matter if you sound like Chris Tomlin or a toad.

The first time I heard this song, I was still sitting at the back of the band room, against the lockers. This was the song chosen to bring people back from meditation and into the next four songs of worship. I remember sitting there and feeling so overwhelmed and moved by the lyrics that I just cried. I’m not that sort of worshipper. I am of proud German Lutheran stock. I’m a rock during worship, but this song rocked my world. My heart was changed in a moment of need. I constantly come back to this song for reflection and spiritual sustenance.

Not only that, I found this video a couple of years later. See, I listened the David Crowder Band version. I didn’t know the story of why it was written. Listening to this story and knowing that this song was making a change in the hearts of the youth across America even before knowing Stephen Coffey’s prayers, I wept openly like a family member died. How brilliant is God? How all knowing and all powerful? He is astounding.

(Here’s the song’s back story, by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJljbGVYqko)

That being said, there’s this line in which John Mark’s version says “sloppy wet kiss” vs. DCB’s “unforeseen kiss”. I hate the phrase “sloppy wet kiss”. Maybe it’s because I heard the phrase “unforeseen kiss” first. Actually, it’s probably because I hate human contact and the idea of anyone or -thing coming at me like a slobber hound sends me straight through the roof. It’s become a real hindrance in listening to this song on the radio (Holler Air1), or in any circumstance in which the David Crowder Band version is not being played. I shouldn’t let my heart be harden over this. I know I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t stop it. I also know that other’s love the sloppy wet kiss. They think it’s great and wonderful and I judge them for it just a bit.

I think God knows this weakness in me. Actually, I know he knows this weakness in me, but what I’m getting at is that he cares about even this small insignificant thing in my life. I was listening to the radio and I heard “How He Loves” play. I listened closely, needing to prepare myself for the inevitable clench of every muscle in my body at those words. But, lo and behold, when it got to that line the band sang “succulent kiss”. GAME. CHANGER.

I have no reason to like succulent more than the other two choices. I have doctrinal fights about this in my head all of the time. I think unforeseen is still the best option. In fact, “succulent kiss” makes me blush a bit. It’s my favorite though. God used it to steal me out of that weird constant battle in my brain about word choice and reminded me of what the song is about. He reminded me that it’s not about which phrase is better. It’s about God pulling us out of the muck and mire. It’s about his love in times of travesty and anger. It’s about rejoicing in his never failing love for us while we are among all of the failures of our lives. That’s what’s important.

P.S. Just in case you didn’t know what succulent means or why it might make a person blush:

Succulent (adj.) [Suc – cu- lent]

(of food) tender, juicy, tasty

synonyms: juicy, moist, luscious, rip, soft, tender

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