“A White Man’s Lament for the Death of God’s Beloved”

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We’re grateful to share this new song from Andrew Peterson today, and grateful he wrote it. Link to the video and full lyrics are included in this post.

I was walking down on Broadway
In a multitude of marchers on parade
There was anger, there was passion,
There was mercy, there was peace yet to be made
And the masks that we were wearing
Kept the virus in control, or so they say
And there was sickness in the air, and to be fair,
It was the grief and all the grievances that plague
The many years, and cause the tears on every face

There are things I’ve done that need to be forgiven
But I’m still learning how to ask
Because the virus in my veins has been contained
By this inherited mask
And I’d rather be exposed to what is killing
Than to hide from what’s to blame
So let me lift my voice on Broadway,
Let me lift my brother’s cross,
Let me mourn for what it cost,
And feel the magnitude of loss
In every name

George, Breonna, Ahmaud
All beloved of God

And there’s more, so many more,
But there’s just no way to say every single name
And there’s anguish, so much anguish to be sure
Inside the killers of the slain
‘Cause if you’ve done somebody wrong
It’s like a song you can’t just banish from your head
It’ll eat you when you’re sleeping, like a wolf that you’ve been keeping by your bed

And those names are gonna haunt you
Till you lie down in the grave and say goodbye
And on the resurrection morn you’ll see the form
Of Jesus blazing in the sky
And then you’ll know how much he loved
The ones who suffered
Whose blood was crying from the ground
And you’ll reckon with the truth
That even they and even you
Were so much dearer than you knew,
So tell me what then will you do
When the ones you never knew come back around:

George, Breonna, Ahmaud
All beloved of God

And I shouldn’t be surprised that when the lies
Come out of hiding there’s a fire
‘Cause when every hope was dashed
Into the ashes of that funeral pyre
There was a spark of truth unsmothered
Till the mighty wind uncovered and relit
So let us lay down on the altar every sin
That we pretend we don’t commit

Till this world has been refined,
Oh, let us share the bread and wine
And pass the peace
Till every soul has been remembered
Every stony heart is tendered
Every all has been surrendered
Every noble cause is rendered obsolete

And I believe that there’s a reckoning in store
And all the poor and the oppressed
Will be the first who were the last
And all the lost and all the cursed will be the blessed
So let this kingdom of the least
Spread the table for the feast and light the flame
Let us send the invitation,
Every tribe and every nation,
There’s no corner of creation
That is safe from this salvation
It is rolling down the mountain
Like the water from a fountain
It is breaking on the beaches
From the deep and distant reaches
Of the seas, and all the gleaners
Are the proclamation bringers
And the dancers are the answers
To the questions of the singers

And we’ll shout that we were wrong
We had it coming all along
And then the mercies of the Lord
Will be the chords to every song
And all the glories of the king
Will be the melodies we sing
And all these marchers on parade
Are making ready for that day

And it begins as I repent
And bow my head as I lament this broken world
‘Cause every victim, every villain
Was a precious little boy or little girl
This is me and this is you
This is the truth, if you believe it or not
You have always been beloved
They have always been beloved

George, Breonna, Ahmaud
All beloved of God

Words and music by Andrew Peterson. Audio by Asher Peterson. Video by Dawson Freeman.


2 Comments

  1. Brad Irving

    @birvingdo

    It begins as I repent, and bow my head to lament this broken world. That about sums it up. The healing comes with love, patience, understanding, and humility. I am praying that God can use His people to bring true unity. Maybe, just maybe, we see the kingdom is amongst us all and can forge a path towards healing.

  2. Terrence D

    @terrence

    Because I have a long, abit one-way relationship with Andrew Peterson, I wanted to respond to this song by asking a couple theological questions. What is the nature of the connection between Andrew or myself and the dead of whom he writes? What is the nature of the connection for us both and those who did the killing? If the connection is sin, that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, then are we not all guilty, everywhere, everyone. If the connection is racial hatred, then is intent necessary? Is Andrew confessing to hate? I see little evidence of such a charge in my limited knowledge of him. Is Andrew confessing indifference or inaction? This seems more plausible, and it likely a category that I know I might fall into as well. But here is rub. If indifference and inaction are enough to indict, then we must put God and Jesus on the docket and hold them guilty of indifference and inaction. Because since Adam’s fall, God has not stopped the brutality, cruelty, and violence of the world. And if Andrew and I are guilt by virtue of our silence or inaction, then Jesus is more guilty because he has the wherewithal to actually fix it, but he has not. Wait a minute. That can’t be right. What was the cross about? What was his obedience to the Father about? How could Jesus walk through the sick and dying at the pool and act on the benefit on just one person? How could God watch Herod slaughter the innocents? If all that is necessary to establish culpability and guilt in the lack of act, and particularly an act that offends us, that God must be held guilty of permitting Jesus to obey and offer himself. Because neither I nor Andrew have an reasonable claim to that life. But indicting God is a fool’s errand. I grieve at the sin of the world, and I grieve for my rebellion. But I cannot take on the sins of the world. Paul was not permitted to be held guilty for the sins of his brethren. Can I, following in the footprints of my Master, suffer and die as a testimony of God’s love for the world? Of course, no slave is better than their Master. But the suffering, if it is to be valuable, is suffering for innocence, not imputed guilt. Might I lay down my life for my brother? Yes, if God should choose to pour me out and a drink offering, but I am not my own, so I cannot take what has not been given. This sense of sorrow, lament, and anguish at the callousness of the present evil age is understandable, but if we allow ourselves to be carried away by our passions (suffering), in the end, we will stand with the Accuser, attempting to indict God for having a chosen something we cannot understand; Silence.

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