Something that most people know about me – I love Hanson. I love their sound. I love their humor. I love their humanness. I love their dedication to their fans and to their community. But mostly, I love their lyrics. Because Jesus speaks to me through their lyrics.
For example, a couple years ago I was feeling like the lyrics from “Save Me From Myself:”
Cecilia with flowers in her hair was like the sun, brought me to life
And I can’t tell you for the life of me why I would choose to let it burn out
I wish I was numb, alone here in my cell
Something in my heart is making me not feel so well
Won’t you save me from myself
I remember sitting in my car and feeling like I couldn’t explain how I felt, but it was a lost feeling, but a lost feeling that I had put on myself. And then this song comes through my speakers and I’m like – YES! That’s it.
So, I go inside and I’m sitting in my room and I ask my Google home to play some other Hanson song. That song ends and then through the speakers comes this super deep cut that I’ve hardly ever heard before – “Never Let Go.” And I just start weeping. Jesus had played a song in response to how I was feeling in the one way he knew I would hear him. Here’s what he told me:
Just cry out
Yeah I’ve cried those tears before
I can feel it now
As your teardrops hit the floor
‘Cause you know
That I’ll love you and never let go
And you know
That I’ll love you forever
I’ll love you and never let go
Yes I love you and never let go
So, I love Hanson because Jesus uses them to tell me about myself, about himself, about our relationship, and how to process my emotions.
But, there is one song that I’ve never really been able to understand. It’s just well, to be honest, weird. It’s called “Yearbook” and it came out on their first album. I blame their youth. It’s a song about a missing picture in a yearbook and they don’t know where Johnny went and no one will tell them.
Where did he go?
I wanna know.
Tell me where did Johnny go?
It says “picture unavailable” right here.
More than sad, it makes me mad
To know somebody knows.
I see lying in your silence.
Tell me where did Johnny go.
Every year, Hanson has this member’s only event in Tulsa. And I’ve gone for like seven years now. And I can’t tell you all the ways Jesus has used this time to reset my spirit and mind. How many times I’ve cried in the back of Cain’s ballroom. I love it. Well, before Hanson Day in 2018, Hanson was teasing us fans with hints of “String Theory,” but we had no idea what it was. Hanson Day came and they revealed that String Theory was actually a symphony of their music! A story line of their work – performed with an entire huge orchestra! Well, you can image that I was thrilled!
They had already announced shows that they were playing around the country and the closest one to me was either in Chicago, Dallas, or Colorado. Those are all far away. But, Jesus told me, “Go to the one in Nashville.” So, I went out to the car and bought my tickets to “String Theory” in Nashville. Even though that sounds like a crazy idea.
That was in May. October came and I drove all night to my friend’s house in Tennessee. I got to spend the weekend with this friend and talking about life. (Remember, this is the time in my life when I feel, well, the worst – ha.) Then, I go to “String Theory.” And I’m crying the entire time, I love it so much. And it’s so beautiful. And it’s this story of a boy with a dream and the outside world is telling him he’s crazy for pursuing it, but he’s denying them all and going after it anyway. And then he gets knocked down, and beaten, and bruised. And then – they play “Yearbook.” And I cry harder than I have been the entire night because for the first time, I understand it and it’s piercing me to my core. Because the boy from String Theory is Johnny and he doesn’t know where he himself went. He’s looking through the empty halls and doesn’t recognize himself. And for the first time in a long time, I felt close to Jesus. Like he was telling me about myself again.
It’s just beautiful. Listen to String Theory, it could change your life. But my point – I was in a rotten place in 2018. Sad most of the time. Missing community. Missing Jesus. Feeling closer to him and farther away from him than ever before. Kinda down on life. But, when I listened to Jesus and bought a ticket to a concert half-way across the country – he gave me a joy that I will never forget.
Jesus doesn’t just tell us what to do to save us from danger or keep us from doing bad things. Sometimes he tells us what to do because he wants our hearts to soar with happiness. Answer the call. It’s worth it.