Last night I found myself watching part of “American Idol Gives Back” and happened to hear Carrie Underwood perform the old George Michael song “Praying for Time.” I’d forgotten how much I like that song, and it struck me as being so much more relevant now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Maybe it’s just that my own perspective is different now. It seems a bit silly to reflect so deeply on a song by an 80s icon that was sung on this big hit pop music show, but I admit, it really affected me.

A couple of things struck me in the lyrics.

“The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much, but we’ll take our chances
cause God stopped keeping score.
I guess somewhere along the way
he must have let us all out to play
turned his back
and all God’s children crept out the back door.”

This struck me as so exactly what is happening right now. The plans to “avoid recession” and fix the mortgage crisis all seemed to me to be aimed at helping companies and those who already got rich off making others poor. But now the wells are drying up and those groups are crying because the cash cow is dead, and somehow we are supposed to have sympathy for them and be glad that Congress is passing bills to help builders, and not necessarily homeowners. I know there’s a trickle-down effect, and when large companies go under people lose jobs, and then lose homes, but it just doesn’t seem like the people who really truly need help are actually going to get it.

“and you cling to the things they sold you
did you cover your eyes when they told you
that he can’t come back
cause he has no children to come back for.”

I really like these lines because it seems like religious hypocrisy is at an all time high lately. People use the name of Chris to justify just about everything from hate crimes to racism to violent acts again those they disagree with.

I should say that among my friends and family, at least 95% of those who are religious are truly sincere in their beliefs and put their money where their mouths are, trying to do good and live the best lives they can, and help others along the way when possible. But the public face of most religions is unfortunately often negative. And it makes me wonder if some of these extremists ever really think of Jesus anymore…do they really think of Jesus as someone who spread hatred or condoned violence, who wanted to force people to follow his teachings and restricted their rights if they didn’t? Because I’ve read the New Testament, and I have never seen that side of Jesus in the version I read. Maybe I should look at some other translations.

“and it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate”

See, here’s where I have to really look inward, because I feel so angry sometimes about the injustices and the hypocrisy in the world, and I feel I’m not really capable of extending love to those who would hate me. It’s something I’m not really sure I aspire to, but I wish I aspired to it. I’d like to be that person, who could rise above it and be the bigger person. Maybe one day. Maybe that’s the biggest reason to pray for time.