Day 259 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I am sure I am not the only person who enjoys a good love song. Throw a great singer into the mix, one who sings from their heart and soul and it gets you IN … it touches you. Well, I was touched in the early hours of the morning when I woke and tuned my radio to some easy listening music to help get me back to sleep.

And the song that touched me was THAT’S WHAT LOVE IS FOR’ by Amy Grant. I wasn’t even sure exactly what she was singing about but every time she would branch off into the chorus of “That’s What Love is For” I would melt.

At one point, I began to wonder “What exactly does that mean: that’s what love is for? what IS she singing about?” I determined to look up the lyrics today and write a blog about it. I had no idea what I would write about yet something told me deep within that it was worth looking at further.

So, here I am ready to go. Let’s start with the lyrics and if you’re not sure if you know it, listen here on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLVV2TaI4Wo

Sometimes we make it harder than it is
We’ll take a perfect night
And fill it up with words we don’t mean
Dark sides best unseen
And we wonder why we’re feeling this way

Sometimes I wonder if we really feel the same
Why we can be unkind
Questioning the strongest of hearts
That’s when we must start
Believing in the one thing that has gotten us this far

That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love is for
Nothing else can do it

Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for

Sometimes I see you
And you don’t know I am there
And I’m washed away by emotions
I hold deep down inside
Getting stronger with time
It’s living through the fire
And holding on we find

That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love if for
Nothing else can do it

Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for

Believing in the one thing
That has gotten us this far
That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love if for
Nothing else can do it

Round off the edges
Talk us down from the ledges
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for
That’s what love is for

That’s what love is for
Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for
That’s what love is for
That’s what love is for
That’s what love is for

(From the ‘Heart In Motion’ Album 1991)

Years ago, I was never a huge fan of the Christian singer Amy Grant although I did know her from a Christmas Album she recorded 30 years ago when she was just a girl and I liked the album.

Every now and again my ears would prick up with news of her going into so-called ‘secular’ music. I also vividly remember her divorcing her first husband musician Gary Chapman and then marrying Vince Gill, a fellow singer a year later in 2000.

Later (around 2005) I would buy a Christmas Album recorded in 1992 which I loved and this is where my interest in Amy really began.

There was a lot of condemnation for Amy Grant when, as a Christian, she was seen to be ‘a scarlet woman’ because she not only divorced, but married another divorcee! Poor Amy, she could not win a trick. In actual fact, it was no one’s business except her own and none of us will ever know the how or the why. It is not our place to judge or condemn.

Amy wrote this particular song in 1991 (with two other people) and it would appear her marriage was already in trouble from the time she married in 1982. She talked about it in an interview in 1999:

“I didn’t get a divorce because I had a great marriage and then along came Vince Gill. Gary and I had a rocky road from day one. I think what was so hard—and this is (what) one of our counselors said—sometimes an innocent party can come into a situation, and they’re like a big spotlight. What they do is reveal, by comparison, the painful dynamics that are already in existence.”

I am labouring the point about her divorce because it was made such a big deal of at the time and because I think it helps one understand the lyrics of  “That’s What Love is For.” When she wrote these words:  “Round off the edges; Talk us down from the ledges; Give us strength to try once more” I can just imagine her trying to make a ‘go’ of her marriage as she kept trying over 16 years to do the right thing.

When I heard this song in the early hours of the morning, I picked up a poignancy in the lyrics and now that I’ve done some research on Amy, I can see why this was so.  Living your life in the public spotlight is never easy for any singer, but a Christian singer? Twice as hard I should think. No room for error and plenty of room for judgment!

So folks what IS Love for? Amy says it is “to help us through it, nothing else can do it.” Thought provoking for sure but it leads me to another question: “so what is LOVE anyway? And how does it help us through it?” Wikihow says:

Love is expressed as an action and experienced as a feeling. Yet, love has an essence that resists defining in any single way––it encompasses compassion, tolerance, endurance, support, faith, determination and more. Love reaches beyond romance and embraces us in all walks of life as we encounter one another and make choices about respecting and caring for each other.”

Perhaps it is that LOVE is not always about FEELINGS of Love? Perhaps LOVE is a choice that we make to keep loving even when we don’t feel like it? This doesn’t mean that we stay where we are not wanted or respected. It doesn’t mean that we never challenge the person we LOVE at any time. Nor does it mean that we never use TOUGH LOVE when we need to either.

I always found when dealing professionally with the disadvantaged and unemployed during my career, that if I came from a position of LOVE (compassion, tolerance, support) I could confront them if necessary and they would receive it well.

However, if I came from a position of judgment and anger, they would inevitably reject what I was saying. The same is true in any relationship … and yes in marriage.

So today folks, I wanted to share these thoughts on Amy Grant with you all. I’m not sure that I am any closer to knowing “That’s What Love is For” but it reminds us all to “have the strength to try once more.” And not to give up too easily. What do YOU think?

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