Song 3 of 9 – The Great Doorway

Sometimes songs spring out in the most surprising ways. I wrote “The Great Doorway” in a circumstance of great heartache, and it’s referring to some deep matters of theology, and yet it came out as the “hokey-est”, daggy-est protest song I could imagine! I originally wrote it on a banjo-guitar, even! You may remember the folk singer/songwriters in the 60s and 70s writing a lot of ‘protest’ songs; and as a folky songwriter I find the protest genre quite a helpful way of processing frustration and disappointment with our culture. It’s a little more unusual to write a spiritual protest song, but that’s what happened here. So please don’t get hung up on individual lines or phrases, but try and take it as a whole and see if anything catches your attention. Sometimes even something that makes you feel reactive or confused is still worth giving some thought to. Also, sometimes exaggeration is a way of trying to look at something more clearly.

That’s what I did in the song: exaggerated certain beliefs and perceptions about God, ourselves and life that have been unhelpful to me and to people I love. I’ll never forget the protest in my spirit one time in church as I heard a beautiful old man of God pray, “Lord you know I’m nothing but a worm in your sight”. It grieved my heart, especially because in my own spiritual journey, for all sorts of reasons, I had often found it so hard to really trust that God could actually love me; that His forgiveness is real, and that he really does see me as His beloved daughter. In the intro to the song, I share some of those warped beliefs that I somehow grew up with about God and what He expected of me. Again I used exaggeration to help myself see more clearly where I was thinking wrongly. I wrote up a set of false beatitudes, that contrast glaringly with the real and beautiful teaching Jesus gave about us being poor in Spirit, being able to mourn, hungering and thirsting for His goodness, etc. I’ll put a copy of both sets of beatitudes below for your reflection, but feel free to go straight to the song. And if you want to skip the spoken intro, just jump to 2:25 on the clip.

When this song jumped out of my mouth & banjitar, I laughed and said, “God what the heck do you want me to do with this song?!!”. I still feel the same about it, so I’m just trusting Him in putting it out there to you guys and others. Maybe you can just laugh and leave it, or maybe it might get you thinking, or maybe you might even want to write back and let it be a discussion starter… Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s The Great Doorway

PS: Here are the beatitudes:

NERIDA’S (FALSE) BEATITUDES
Blessed are those who ‘have it all together’, for they have ‘arrived’, spiritually…
Blessed are the emotionally invulnerable, for they will never need comforting…
Blessed are those who control people and circumstances, for life will work out for them…
Blessed are those who know they are righteous, for they will never taste failure…
Blessed are the nice, for they will be liked…
Blessed are those who never do anything wrong, for they can feel sure of God’s acceptance…
Blessed are those who avoid conflict, for they will never offend.
Blessed are those who persecute anyone with a slightly different theology, for all Christendom is theirs…

CHRIST’S BEATITUDES (Mt 5:3-12)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven…
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven….

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