Hopsin’s Song of Lost Faith Hits Close To Home

[Word count: 464. Approximate read time: 2 minutes]

Rapper Hopsin in "Ill Mind of Hopsin 7"

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

—Psalm 139:1-4

In a post on JFuzion.com, I discovered a music video for the recently released “Ill Mind of Hopsin 7” from former Ruthless Records rapper Hopsin. The Los Angeles native became a born again Christian 2 years ago, but now finds himself doubting his beliefs. With its starkly honest lyrics, a video set against a barren desert panorama is only appropriate.

If you can wade through the expletive-heavy verses without grimacing from offense, you’ll find the song is essentially a mournful prayer. Similar expressions of disappointment and lost faith might be found in Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Job, or Lamentations.

An orthodox Christian might declare this irreverent and unacceptable, but if Psalm 139:1-4 is true and you’ve ever prayed while in anguish, your distressed prayer probably sounded to God much like Hopsin’s may sound to us. Beneath the bared teeth of his words is a heartbreaking expression of hurt. Continue reading

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The Shakes

[Word count: 496. Approximate read time: 2 minutes]

Whenever I visit my hometown, my mother does not let me leave until she prays for me. It’s always been that way since the mid-80s when she got good and saved. That means whether dropping me off at elementary school or releasing me to the freeways so I could get back home to Los Angeles, it’s still the same thing. I would have to pad my travel time by about 5 or 10 minutes for Mom.

There is a very singular way her hand shakes when Mom prays for me. It’s not violent, or over the top. It’s just the slightest bit stronger than the magnitude felt when you lean against the dryer on its final spin cycle. It’s actually kind of relaxing. In any case, I can see it coming on as she reaches up to place her hand on my forehead.

If I didn’t know her well, I might think it was a put-on to dramatize the prayer. That’s no act. It’s been consistent throughout, which gives it credence. Fakeries reveal themselves over time.

These days, I moonlight as a skeptic. But I wonder about that. There must be something real to it. And I wonder what it is. Continue reading

Lay Your Weapons Down

[Word count: 1605. Approximate read time: 6-8 minutes]

tony-leung-gun-standoff1

I’m hearing a familiar voice calmly asking me to “drop my weapons.” I hear you. But I can’t do that yet. I’m sorry. I want to lay them down. They’re heavy and cumbersome. But there’s a conflict. I picked up this weapon after someone I trusted hurt me pretty badly. My guard was down. I didn’t even see it coming. I’m holding this weapon because I have to. Not because I want to. As long as I hold it, they can’t hurt me again. Not like before. And I still haven’t found a safe place to rest yet. Dropping my weapon would be certain death, tantamount to suicide.

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God and the Silent Treatment

[Word count: 869. Approximate read time: 3-4 minutes]

“I— I got a question
I got a question
Where are you?
Did you leave me unbreakable?
Leave me frozen?
I’ve never felt so cold
I thought you were silent
I thought you left me
For the wreckage and the waste
On an empty beach of faith
Was it true?”

— Jars of Clay, “Silence

IgnoreMeWhat kind of Christian song is this? I don’t recognize any scripture. These lyrics aren’t uplifting. They’re fraught with doubt! Preposterous! Jars of Clay must have fallen away from God because of their crossover compromising. I must call my local Christian bookstore and alert them right away before someone loses faith. Oh, Jesus be a compact disc recall.

Psych. I love this song. Adore it to the core, depressing lyrics and all. And though it’s the sullen cousin of a funeral dirge, the fact that it exists comforts me. That means someone else has gotten the silent treatment from God and lived to tell about it.

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