I’ve found my inner rapper. I searched deep inside, and I found the words of my soul beat to a rhythm I can’t contain any longer. I was born to rap, and I’m not doing the world a favor by keeping my beats inside.
That, or I’m dressing up as Eminem for Halloween tomorrow.
Two years ago, our office theme was the 80s, and my coworkers all but forced me to wear a karate gi. Last year, I dusted off my old Indiana Jones fedora and put together a totally awesome-looking costume (the ladies could barely control themselves whenever I wore the fedora… the eye rolls were just a cover).
This year, I decided to branch out a little and dress up as Eminem. In contrast, I’m also currently writing a Jesus paper for my New Testament class. Yes, I’m writing a graduate paper discussing the central theme of Jesus Christ’s earthly message while dressed up as Slim Shady.
For the record, I don’t by any means condone his language or model of behavior (see disclaimer at end of post). However, I have to say Eminem has helped me write my Jesus paper.
Before you think I’ve totally gone off the deep end (and before you fail me, Dr Majeski), ask yourself this question: Why did Jesus come to earth? The thesis for my paper is “Jesus’ earthly message–his mission– was to proclaim, portray, and provide the kingdom of God.” (Go ahead… take a quick yawn… except for you, Dr Majeski).
As I listened to Eminem’s song “Not Afraid” while trying to figure out how I was going to support my thesis, it suddenly hit me. Through the language and anger, I heard a cry for help. A cry for hope. The cry of the created searching desperately for his Creator.
“And I just can’t keep living this way. So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage. I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons. I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground. I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up. Time to put my life back together right now!”
Jesus came to save the world. We say it over and over in church. We memorize John 3:16 like a creed. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, because it’s the core truth. But sometimes the hard reality of the truth gets lost in repetition.
Jesus came to save the world. We got lost from our Creator, so the Son of God left heaven to remind us why we’re lost, show us how to have a relationship with our Creator, and to make that possible again.
While they may not be the most positive and encouraging, Eminem’s lyrics are an honest, gut-wrenching cry for truth. They are the question for Jesus’ answer.
**Disclaimer: For any youth reading this, I must say that I do not recommend listening to Eminem’s music. The letter of James has a lot to say about being careful with what we hear and see, and I would strongly advise you to refrain from listening to such music.