So, if you have followed me even for a bit, you might know that I really love music. Seriously love. I guess it started when I was really little. My dad played guitar and sang in his own band. I know. Awesome, right?
Well, we had a babysitter almost every Saturday night when he and the band had gigs. You might think that was sad; a babysitter every Saturday night, but it wasn’t. We had fun. I remember her plainly. Sharon was her name and she was this awesome, teenage girl. We loved when she came.
As for my dad and mom, well they were out chasing a dream of music and, most certainly, an opportunity to earn extra income for the family. And, as a little girl, I just loved when he played the guitar and sang. Like seriously. He can sing. I guess his love of music just rubbed off on me. Thanks, Dad. I am grateful. So grateful.
Now, I love listening to music of all types, but, like I said before, in my post, Even If … He IS Still Good, my two favorites are country music and Christian music. Anywhere I go, you will most likely find one of those two genres playing in my truck. Those two genres just paint real stories that people can relate to. I love it!
And it was one of those times, once again, riding around that I heard this phenomenal Christian song. When I heard it, I just knew that I had to write about it. There were so many thoughts just running through my head about the lyrics.
The song is by a Christian music artist named Blanca. When I heard the song, it reminded me of Demi Lovato. Like I was listening to the radio and thought, “Wow, Demi Lovato is singing a Christian music song on pop radio?” Ha Ha, I know. I really love Demi’s voice, so I thought it was her.
But, low and behold, it was not Demi at all, but, instead, it was Blanca. Then, I remembered. I know her. Well, not personally, but I know her music. Well, her new song, “Real Love” is amazing. I mean amazing. I seriously sat and listened to the words, saying, “Right on, right on.” Then the tears started to flow.
Music does that to me. I think that it is the Holy Spirit moving in me. I don’t know. Music just makes me feel good, sad, happy, broken, moved, and many, many more emotions. It just brings me joy.
Music is a big part of my heart, so, I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to share with you the emotions and thoughts that I felt and pondered while listening to her song, “Real Love”. It’s a good one. It’s one you will have a plethora of emotions while listening to it.
And isn’t that wonderful? To feel? God has given us the ability to relate, to feel. Don’t be afraid to feel. Don’t be afraid of those raw emotions you have just because our culture says that feelings make you weak. No, they do not! They make you human and exactly how God wanted us to be.
God sent his precious son to us in human form, with human emotions, so emotions are wonderful. Jesus felt them himself, all of them, so feel those emotions wholly and freely. I think real feelings makes us stronger. Stronger.
So, here we go:
Real Love by Blanca
This isn’t easy
For me to admit
I got a fire inside and some words
I know I can’t keep in
I can so relate to these lines. You can ask anyone in my family, geesh even my friends, and they will tell you that I wear my emotions on my face. For good and for bad. I just love these lines because I feel that fire inside for Jesus. I simply love him so much. I even have tears in my eyes while writing this. I just have so much love for him because he loves me so unconditionally that I want to shout it from the roof tops! And, believe me; in human ways, I am not always loveable. Can I hear an amen?
Unconditional love is just so rare. If you have found it in human form, that’s really Jesus in that person. There simply is no way to love another, unconditionally, without Jesus. We all have far too many flaws to overlook without Jesus showing us that the person is beautiful and deeply loved by him and, in turn, can be by us. A love like Jesus’ love is precious. Simply precious.
I see faith turning
Into a show
Of Sundays and sermons
And works getting caught in the flow
Okay, this line hit me hard. Do you get it? Faith turning into a show. Like, “Hey, look at me! We are the cool church.” The best songs, the best plays, the best, well whatever, yet we miss the real point – a real relationship with Jesus and showing others that Jesus and a relationship with him is what the real point is. The “Real Love” of a real savior is what Jesus came to give us.
Now, believe me. I love these “showy” things at church. I really do. But, this verse reminded me that sometimes we simply put too much time in performing the gospel rather than purposely sharing the gospel.
All of these “showy” things are great, fantastic actually, but we must be on guard that the enemy doesn’t sneak in and steal us away from what’s important – a “Real Love” with a real savior and sharing that good news with others.
Oh, but we got real pain and real fears
Thirsting for the drying of our real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that the veil was torn
She’s so right. We do have real pain and real tears. Life is hard. Really hard. And there will be many times that you have real tears because life just deals you a blow that is almost unbearable. I’ve been there. I know many of you have too. But, you know what is so absolutely beautiful, transformative actually about that? Jesus can relate. He can! The savior of the world knew real pain. Oh he did.
It hurts my heart to even think of the real pain that Jesus went through, emotionally and physically, while walking this Earth. He didn’t have to know that real pain, y’all. He didn’t. He could have chosen to skip it altogether, but he didn’t. He didn’t. He looked at humanity and knew that to save us, to bless us; he would have to suffer pain in all ways. All ways.
Ever had a friend or even a loved one walk away? Jesus knows that pain. His most trusted companions, the humans he loved the most, completely abandoned him when he needed them the most. Even his own father turned away from him. The pain he must have felt was overwhelming. Literally. The Bible tells us that Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane crying out to his father in pain. Some interpretations even say that Jesus was sweating drops of blood here because the agony went so deep. Be still my heart. His agony for me. For me. For you.
And then, there is the last line in that verse, “Ain’t it true that the veil was torn?” What on earth does that mean? Well, many of you know that I am a former third grade teacher and I had the great privilege of teaching at a Christian school. I just loved teaching and I especially loved teaching Bible.
In our third grade curriculum, we covered from Genesis to Judges. We never made it to the New Testament to glimpse Jesus, but he was there in every part of the Old Testament. Believe me. The Old Testament is so worth reading. Yes. Yes, it is.
Well, in Exodus, after God uses Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the Israelites are given very detailed, specific instructions on how to build The Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is the place that God would physically come down to dwell among his people. The most special, sacred place of The Tabernacle was in the very back of The Holy Place called The Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is the place that God would come down and dwell within.
Here’s the key though, only the high priest could go into that place. And there was a veil that separated that part of the Holy Place from the rest. The Holy of Holies was completely sacred and set apart. It was veiled.
Now, remember what the song said? The veil was torn. The veil she sings about was torn both literally and figuratively at the time of Jesus’ death. Do you know the story? It’s completely jaw dropping.
At the time of the death of Jesus, the whole Earth was covered in darkness. When he breathed his last and said to his father, “It is finished”, the whole earth trembled and the veil at the temple was literally torn from the top to the bottom. Torn! From top to bottom. No man could do that. If a man had torn the veil, it would have been torn from the bottom up. But, here’s the key – no man tore that veil. Oh no! God tore that veil, my friends! God did.
John 19:30a – When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” (NLT)
Matthew 27:51-52 – At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. (NIV)
The “veil” that separated God from us because of our filthy sin was torn and ripped to shreds forever. Forever. God tore that veil down so that we could be back in fellowship and relationship with our creator face-to-face.
Praise Jesus! Oh how thankful I am that God had made a way for us to come back to him in a real, personal, love covered way. What veil? Exactly.
I don’t need no stained glass
To be washed in His blood
I don’t need no perfect, put together pretty words
To be enough, no
I don’t know about you, but these lines really speak to my heart. We don’t need to be in church to be washed in his blood and forgiven. No! There’s much more to it than that. We just need Jesus. We need to recognize that Jesus came to this earth on that blessed Christmas morn to ultimately pay the price for our sin once and forever. And his death, resurrection, and return to his father made a way for us all to come back to the father.
Now, don’t get me wrong, church is vitally important. It is the place where the followers gather, and praise, and fellowship, and pray, and sing, and plan, and work to learn even more about our creator and his love. It has a very important part in our faith journey.
But, it is not the necessary part of the plan of salvation. It is an instrument. The plan comes down to us recognizing that we are sinners and are in need of a savior. We can never do enough good works to earn God’s favor. He gives it to us freely, if we just call upon the name of Jesus.
Which leads me to that last line … “perfect, put together, pretty words to be enough” Okay – there it is. I think we often think that we need to have put together, pretty words when we talk to Jesus. I have often heard people say that they don’t like to pray aloud because they don’t really have a “pretty prayer”.
What? Don’t ever think that way. Your words, whatever they are, are completely enough. Enough. He just wants to hear his child’s voice. So speak up. Speak out. Jesus does not need an eloquent prayer, just your words. They are enough. Always have been. Always will be. So, don’t let this crazy culture or crazy world tell you otherwise. Your words are enough.
And while I am reminding you, You are enough! Yes, you. You are enough to Jesus, so don’t forget that. EVER!
I want Jesus and His real love
Something that I crave deep inside of my bones
So you can leave your religion at home
Yes! Yes! And Yes! I want Jesus. Something deep inside of our bones, we crave him. You know those people in life just running through life constantly looking for something, yet they never quite find it? Yep, they are seeking Jesus. We were built by him for goodness sake. We would certainly be craving the goodness that he offers.
Yet some people miss it. Don’t miss it! Jesus is what you need! It’s what I need. Every day as a matter of fact. We don’t need religion. That’s what the Pharisees had. They were religious people who knew all the “religious practices and policies” and yet they missed the opportunity to believe in the one who had come to save them.
Don’t miss it, my friend! Jesus is not religion. He is a relationship. He is the relationship that will fill all of your needs, desires, and wants. No human will ever do that. We simply can’t. We’re, well human, so seek Jesus. He is the perfect friend, companion, confidante, and so much more.
Spent my life trying
To keep all the rules
Now I know it’s about what He’s already done
Not about what I think that I gotta do
Yep! Who can relate to this? If I just try hard enough. If I am pretty enough. If I am smart enough, successful enough, then I am good. I am good with God.
Oh, precious friend, let’s get off that roller coaster ride. We can’t ever try enough or do enough to earn God’s favor. It’s not at all about what we can do. It’s all about what he has already done for you and for me. It’s done. Jesus paid the price once so that we could live a life of freedom. So, let’s stop that ride now! Let’s start walking in freedom today.
I want real, real love
I want real, real love
I want real, real love
Oh, yeah, yeah
Can you see why I love music so much? Songwriters are wonderful authors who put stories to song. In this case, a wonderful message that we all desperately need to hear and live out in our daily lives. Daily! We can never be enough, do enough to earn God’s grace and favor. He gives it to us through Jesus.
Jesus, the savior born on Christmas Day, has the “Real Love” we need. No one else can give this to us. Yes, people can give us real love, but we are all only human. We are flawed, not perfect and with a very keen ability to wound one another. Jesus is the best “Real Love”. The Best! He is perfect. Spotless. And he has the ability to understand and fulfill all of our needs. All of them.
So, take a listen to Blanca’s “Real Love” today. I hope you are completely blessed the way I was the first time I heard it. It still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how Jesus gives us “Real Love” – unconditional, undeserved, yet abundantly poured upon us just because.
This time of year is the best time to remind ourselves that Jesus came as a baby for us. He came to live this life in human form and he chose to die a human death so that you and me could know and experience “Real Love”. Embrace it today.
To you, Jesus, thank you
X0 – Nikki
P.S. And don’t miss watching her video that talks about the story behind the song. Wow! Wow! Wow!
Songwriters: Blanca Elaine Reyes, Jordan Sapp, Emily Weisband
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
The Story Behind the Song
Disclaimer – all songs, lyrics, videos are owned by Blanca, her team, and YouTube