Heavy Metal Gratitude?

Talking with my firstborn, Harry, is always enlightening. He is a deep thinker who researches subjects long and hard and holds strong opinions based on his scrutiny of the subject matter from all sides. When he was a long-haired teenager he loved heavy metal music, and although he tried to listen to Christian heavy metal bands, he did not think their music was as “cutting edge” as the secular bands. His “cross to bear” in all this was that he was a preacher’s kid. Long hair and heavy metal music didn’t exactly fit some people’s idea of acceptable in the Christian circles in which he traveled. It, also, wasn’t always Christians who took exception with these attributes. Harry was told to leave stores for fear he was shoplifting and turned down for jobs even though his resume was far superior to those with shorter hair.

Today we had some superior mother-son time. (I have to say it is always like this when we can steal moments to talk away from the hustle and bustle of his busy family/work life.) He was talking about this book he was reading, The Day Mettalica Came to Church, by Pastor John Van Sloten of New Hope Church in Alberta, Canada. He really likes the book, he said, because Pastor Van Sloten has down in print what Harry says he has always thought, “that God can speak through everything, even what some consider crap.” He told me how many times the heavy metal bands articulated the ideas he had of the world when he was a teen and they expressed them in a way that was relevant to him at that time in his life.

As the conversation unfolded, I was able to share with him about a book I had read this past year with a very similar theme that “God can speak through everything, even the crap.” I shared with him about 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and how the opening chapter tells of the tragic death of her sister at the age of 2 and how Ann, then 4, remembered her little sister’s bloody body lying in the driveway. The book continues on from there to describe in detail one woman’s revelation of how all life’s experiences are known to God and that because He is a loving God, He is there with us in everything. When we realize this, we must give thanks for all things because He is in all things. That is rather like what Pastor Van Sloten says, is it not?

My son, who carries an iPad with him everywhere because that is how he does business, went to the Amazon website and put Ann’s book on his wish list. Good sign that he thinks Mom may be onto something?! I think St. Augustine would have applauded our struggling together today. What do you think? Has anyone out there read both books?

Pressing on,



8 comments on “Heavy Metal Gratitude?

  1. I needed to hear this today, Dawn. My teenager is testing boundaries and asking to put music on his iPod which his father and I are not too thrilled to allow into his ears. It’s not horrible. Yet, as protective parents, we’re skeptical. Parenting is so hard!

  2. Cristal,

    I was actively involved in my son’s music. I knew the bands, the music, the lyrics. Some of it was mysterious to me. I wondered why it spoke to Harry, but it did not harm so I let him listen. He has come to a really mature faith that I believe can help many others because he has struggled with “the truth” . I’d say stay tuned in and talk, listen, listen, listen, remark, listen and listen some more. I had to take a nap in the afternoon because my son was a night person. I was not. If I wanted to hear him talk about things I had to be up–so I was.

    These are definitely tough years, Cristal. I feel for you,

  3. I applaud your struggling together, Dawn. This quote . . . “that God can speak through everything, even what some consider crap” . . . sounds very much like the whole premise for my Art of Life blog . . . “Every happening great and small is a parable by which God speaks to us and the art of life is to get the message”.
    I have not read both books, only Ann’s. That’s exciting that Harry would like to have a copy.

    • Oh my goodness Andrea Dawn so it is! The premise of your blog is that all of life lived is a parable that would speak to us if we would but gain the wherewithal to decode it. Yes, that is what Harry and I were talking about AND I don’t think any one type person has the decoder. In fact, I think it is sometimes the most unlikely people (from my perspective) that God graces with His treasures. Pray with me that Ann’s book will bless my son’s heart as I purchase a copy for him from Amazon.

      Love you,

  4. praying with you Dawn…
    I think it is plain as we see the example in Jesus’ life… He did not just go into the Holy of Holies but He took the Holy of Holies everywhere He went… He asks us to do likewise.
    Ye are in the world but not of the world… Go ye into all the world, taking this Good News…
    John 17… I pray for all these, and all those who will believe…
    We find Jesus sliding into every aspect of human life, bringing mercy and grace with Him… His tools unto eternal life for all mankind.
    I think I would really enjoy your son !

    Believing God for good things in your life and for all those you touch with His life.

  5. Dear Susan,

    My son would enjoy you, too. Like you, he wants to live his life for the glory of God. He was always a worrier, but about 3 years ago he began to suffer panic attacks. It runs in my mother’s side of the family. I was so sad to learn he was struggling like that, but I can see much fruit from this affliction. I could go on and on about that, but it proves the point that purity that enables clarity is wrought in affliction and discipline. It’s not what we want to hear, but it is truth.

    I believe God brings good. Thank you for being a witness with me to this central truth and praying with me for Harry to be blessed by Ann’s book.

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