Location Location Location, or Where do you live?
I heard a song on the radio the other day that I like but take issue with. It’s “Stone by Stone” by Blue Moon Rising. It’s a bluegrass song about a girl named Jenny, or rather, this guy’s “love” for her. The line that bothers me the most is, “Jenny belongs in an ivory tower,” and it continues, “If she only loved me, I’d build it stone by stone.” Touching, right?
Yeah, makes me twitch. Why? Perhaps my fear of heights. Perhaps the idealization of women that is completely false and that I fear some men take for love. Because here’s the thing, love shouldn’t hide us from the world; it should help us change it for the better.
But, if you love something, you want to protect it, right? Yes, it’s good to have a safe place to go, but if you can’t leave, that safe place becomes a prison. Look at the story of Rapunzel. It’s not the good guy that puts her in that tower.
In John 17, Jesus is praying and a long section is him praying for his disciples. What does he pray? Verse 15 says, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” He recognizes that the world is not a safe place for these men and knows it’s not going to get easier when he’s gone, “the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). Yet, he doesn’t ask that they be put in an ivory tower. Instead, he prays for their protection in the world.
Why? Because they had a job to do. Verse 18 say, “ As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” Jesus gave his disciples a job to do, to spread the Gospel. “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). The goal is that the love which God has for his Son can also be ours.
So, are you living in a tower? Or are you living in the world? Are you hiding behind “love”? Or are you spreading that love to the world?