FCQ 2016: David Bazan

when Job asked you the question
you responded “who are you
to challenge your creator?”
well if that one part is true

it makes you sound defensive
like you had not thought it through
enough to have an answer
or you might have bit off
more than you could chew
— David Bazan, In Stitches

The first time I heard this song it felt scandalous. David Bazan is talking to God. He’s talking about suffering. I listened to David Bazan’s music back when he fronted the band Pedro the Lion. This new music felt like a departure. I was offended. I felt that I needed to defend God. 

“Who are you to question God’s infinite and unimaginable power? Who are you to easily dismiss God because of a few bad experiences or doubts? Isn’t that throwing the baby out with the bathwater?”

Then I listened to the song again. And again. And then I listened a few more times. And I realized that this song was a prayer. 

This song was a prayer similar to this prayer.

Wake up!
Why do You sleep, Lord?!
Do not abandon forever!
Why do You hide Your Face?
Why do You forget our persecution and our oppression?
For our souls have been pounded into the dirt,
our stomachs are stuck to the ground.
Get up!
Help us!

Or this one.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

What I recognized from David Bazan is that the laments that we read in scripture, in the book of Psalms, decidedly tell us what it means to fully live out a life of following Christ. In order to live this life, it must include wrestling with pain, abandonment, suffering, questions, and unbelief. In order to live a full life there are times when we echo the words of King David, Christ on the cross, or even David Bazan. 

Before the truth sets you free it tends to make you miserable.

I think David Bazan is on to something. I think his music, questioning, doubts, and anger are pointing to a greater truth for all of us. It’s pretty tough to see the truth if we’re not willing to wade through the misery. 

I’m excited to announce that David Bazan will be our first guest in 2016’s Faith, Culture, and Questions series. I’m going to ask you to open up your minds, bring some of your questions, and prepare to be set free that the truth that comes from honest and thoughtful lament. 

In the meantime check out more of Bazan’s music. I promise it will make us think, make us react, and I hope, lead us to the truth of a full life in Christ. 

David Bazan will be performing stories and songs at The Bell House on Thursday, September 22 at 7pm, with opening act Lindsey Luff. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.