Husband and I went to see Crazy Heart the other night. I have to pause every time I go to utter the movie title, because I always, almost say Crazy Horse, which reminds me of this, which reminds me of traveling 2000 miles on I-90 with Brother in Summer 2004, which has nothing to do with going to see a movie with Husband. This digressive train of thought has, thus, made it difficult to reflect on Crazy Heart, a movie starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
It’s Sunday morning, and I’m in between worship team practice and choir practice before Sunday morning service. As I was getting ready for church, I was reflecting on worship, and somehow the reflection on worship led me to 2 nights ago watching Crazy Heart.
Crazy Heart is about a seemingly washed-up, alcohol-soaked musician/songwriter, who has arrived at 57 fueled by addiction, and without any touch points of responsibility and intimacy. His longing for intimacy and his fear of himself leads him to rehab, where he allegedly shapes up and cleans up.
What I’m thinking about this morning is how Bad Blake makes sense of his world through song. Songwriting is the place where he has a raw and honest voice, one that can cut through the whiskey and emptiness to find significance.
As I prepare to lead worship this morning, I pray that my words would not be empty. Probably three weeks out of four in any given month, my mind is somewhere else during the bulk of the weekly church service. My mouth opens and closes singing words on the screen without ever really filtering them through my consciousness.
This morning, the image I’m struck with is Bad Blake, sitting on his porch strumming his guitar after Buddy and Jean leave. His words are an offering, for him, probably not to God, but to the world, to music, to Jean, or to life. Regardless, the painful fullness of it feels like a kind of worship…one I desire to emulate, by searching for that place in my own life and drawing it out as an offering. It’s from that place, the bottom, the place of despair, the deepest recesses of the soul, from which I long to sing this morning.