Music/My Culture/Teen Culture

Hello From the Outside

I found God in Adele’s song “Hello.” Yup, the number one song on the radio, the song that has got you missing someone you don’t even know, and yes, the song that has hit you in the feels you didn’t know existed. I found Him in “Hello.”

It’s not always easy to find God when I look at the world and see how saturated with songs, advertisements, movies, television, and people telling me what to do, how to act, what to wear, and who to be. I mean, a part of me just wants to give in to it all and believe what it is telling me. It’s much easier (in the short run) to follow the stream of culture.

While another part of me is disgusted at society and culture and just wants to hide in a chapel and avoid “worldly poison” forever.

But I know what is best for me, and what’s best for the world, is to not do either. I need to meet the world, recognize and reject the ugly, the sin, and seek out God’s goodness, beauty, and truth in it. I believe the amount of goodness there is in the world really does outweigh the ugly, when I do chose to seek Him in it. I find that God is still able to speak to me in the messiness of our world- if I listen.

The Good: Finding God in the messiness

Pope Francis said, “All that is good, all that is true, all that is beautiful brings us to God. Because God is good, God is beautiful, God is the truth.” There is goodness, truth, and beauty in Adele’s song. So, consequently this leads us to God. If we look at Hello from another perspective, we can find God’s infinite love for us.

When I found Him in “Hello,” it completely wrecked me. You see, as much as Adele is so determined in her pursuit of her past lover, God pursues our hearts all the more. If she is calling him one-thousand times, God calls us an infinite, incomprehensible number of times more. If this song brings an ache to your heart, know how much God’s heart aches and thirsts for you. Adele’s pursuit is simply a tiny, tiny glimpse of God’s pursuit of you. Psalms 23:5 says, “Surely His goodness and steadfast love will pursue me relentlessly all the days of my life.” And we can ignore Him all we want, but He still relentlessly pursues us from the “outside.” His love never gives up.

The Bad: The recognition of sin

Just as God is pursuing our hearts so fervently, God is relentlessly pursuing Adele’s heart and loves her so deeply. But it seems she’s only thinking and looking to her past love.

That’s exactly why “Hello” hits us so personally. We can relate to Adele in some way whether or not we’ve had a similar experience, because we know this ache very well. She speaks to the innate human desire and hunger for immense greatness and love.

The problem is that as humans we look for this infinite greatness and love in temporary things. For Adele, this was her past love. Not that her relationship was necessarily bad, it’s just that it was not God.

She captures that feeling of emptiness in the pit of our stomach that we are all know when she sings, “I’m [in California] dreaming about who we used to be.” She so badly wants to go back to “who we used to be” because she is now feeling the pain and emptiness of loving something or someone temporary.

This is exactly why she hasn’t “done much healing.” She’s looking to temporary satisfaction to bring her healing and complete joy that really can only be found in God.

As I empathize with her feelings, I must also recognize that no boyfriend or girlfriend will satisfy my aching heart completely or forever. Simply because, I am created to be completely satisfied by our unchanging and infinite God. The beautiful thing is that God loves us so much that He calls us persistently so our our aching hearts can becomes whole.

The Take-Away

Every time I listen to “Hello” I am reminded of God’s love. The funny thing is that I am reminded of Him in in the craziest of places: my friend’s car, the grocery store, the airport, or when I’m studying.

I get a small glimpse of God’s relentless call to us. I see how God is a romantic God. I am reminded how much He would love to hear my voice.

I also am reminded of my own ache for God when I hear the ache of Adele’s voice. I am reminded that I was created for more.

The beautiful thing about finding God is the messiness of the world is that throughout my busy day I am interrupted by God’s love. When God never crosses my mind, I am told when I least expect it that I am loved and pursued. I hear a call for my restless heart to be satisfied.

About the Author

Teresa Nguyen

I'm a twenty-something gal who's a big advocate for picnics, long walks, and dancing (even if you suck at it). I want to spend my whole life delighting in the Lord's love and being in awe of the sacredness of the human person.

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