Put the scripts and filters and manuals away.
It’s time to create something raw and real, something that begins in your guts.
Something untested and intoxicating and true.
In 1987, I was sixteen, and the music coming out of my Sony Walkman and into my head was Depeche Mode, The Cure, REM, and even an angry little band called Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
And then U2 destroyed the world with The Joshua Tree.
Inspired by Bono’s travels in Central America, the feel of the album reflects its title; wide open and desolate. The Joshua Tree expresses life in the middle of barrenness.
It sold 25 million copies, one of the best selling albums of all time.
So how do you follow that up?
Rattle and Hum was released just a year and a half later.
From the raw confession of Love Rescue Me to the prophetic accusation Bullet the Blue Sky, this live record pulsates with energy and emotion. If The Joshua Tree was spacious, Rattle And Hum is blistering and crowded; it doesn’t let you off so easily.
I love Rattle and Hum because it is not a perfect record. It seems to come from a risky place; it wasn’t concerned with getting the harmonies perfect. It ranted and raved and revealed. It came straight from the guts.
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat,” we read in Mark 6:34. “And he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
Splagchnizomai is the greek word that is translated as compassion in this verse.
Splagnon is the word for intestines, or guts. Your splagnon was understood to be the root of your being. It was where the real “you” could be found. It’s your essence. The Greeks would have said, “I love you with all of my splagnon.” (Read another great, short blog about this word here).
Splagchnizomai is what emerges from the essence of who you are when you get squeezed. For Jesus, when he saw people who were aimlessly wandering through life, led by those who only exploited them, what came out was compassion.
When people experienced the compassion of Jesus, I think it probably felt untested and intoxicating and true. Straight from the guts. I bet that kind of love doesn’t let you off very easily.
So put away the rulers and templates.
Go and experience something that makes you weep. Or squeal with delight. Dive into your anger about the injustice you see and experience. Confront something that brings out the real you.
And then create something. Live something. Do something that comes from your guts. Don’t worry about perfecting it first. Let it spill out of you and see what happens.
We need you to rattle and hum and bleed.
A couple of friends and I are planning something like this, a caper that is thrilling and scary. I’m going to write about what we’re doing one week from today, on Tuesday, August 13th, because I’m inviting you to be part of it.
Rattle and hum, friends.