Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Lauren Daigle is a musician, she's a Christian, and her latest Album Look Up Child debuted as #3 on the Billboard top 200 chart. This is a big deal considering her songs have a lot in them about the love of God! :)
And, Lauren has also been a bit of a hot topic for some people lately because of some choices she made.
The main ones that I've heard about-
What she wore on The Tonight Show.
Appearing on Ellen.
That she calls herself just an "artist" instead of a "Christian artist".
And, plenty of criticism about what she says during interviews.
It makes me so sad to hear all these people talking about the neckline of her dress. To hear her words picked apart. That people are angry over how she chooses to see herself as an artist. And that people think it's "sad" that she went on Ellen.
And suddenly, it doesn’t matter that she is spreading a message of hope and healing to both Christians and non-Christians.
It doesn’t matter that her art is reaching millions of people and changing lives.
It doesn’t matter that she is doing her best and living out her faith and belief in love.
It doesn’t matter that she is her own person with her own beliefs and her own relationship with God.
What seems to matter more to people is the neckline of her dress.
It matters more that people think it's bad that she has associated herself with a someone who believes and lives differently than she does
It matters more (and is apparently "wrong"...) that she wants to call herself just an “artist” instead of a “christian artist”
It matters more that she didn’t say quite what some people expected her to say in an interview
And this makes me so, so sad. Because IMAGINE what we as Christians could be doing instead!
Imagine what would happen if Lauren's fellow brothers and sisters in Christ supported her in love and grace!
Wouldn't be amazing if we encouraged her more instead of critiqued her? Have you heard her music? Do you hear the beautiful messages and the joy and love she has in God? I personally think it is so beautiful and inspiring. And I'm bewildered that people end up talking about her dress and other trivial and relative things.
After reflecting on all of this, I was led to thoughts of what in my life I'm deciding matters more than what actually matters.
Where am I choosing to focus on triviality and ignore the good? And, will this shift of thought bring more freedom to my life?
I'm asking myself if I want to lead a life of Judgement or Grace, Worry or Trust, Fear or Boldness, Intention or Carelessness.
I want to live in freedom.
To focus on what matters.
To give the benefit of the doubt.
To cheer on the good and not give power to evil.
To build up instead of tear down!
I really think we can do this. Despite when peoples' beliefs differ from ours, or when fellow Christians' beliefs differ from our own, we can choose unity and grace. We can question without judging. And we can pursue encouragement instead of discouragement. This is our calling! :)
I was recently in Times Square just going between trains on my way home. As I walked through the station I heard people singing. Turns out there was a group of Amish people singing hymns and standing at a table that held booklets and flyers about God.
They sounded beautiful. And, as someone who also believes in God, I stood to listen for a while.
Eventually, one of the women walked up to me and we started talking. She was curious because I seemed to know the music they were singing. And I told her I'm a Christian and we talked for a moment about love and grace and God's continual presence with us.
There we stood in New York City, me in my skinny jeans and uncovered hair, and her in a plain dress down to her ankles and white bonnet. And then, I suddenly felt compelled to pray for her. But instead, I walked away.
I ended up walking in the wrong direction though and had to pass by her again. This time, I went up to her, asked if I could pray for her/bless her, she said yes, she thanked me and I thanked her, and then we parted ways. I hope she felt encouraged. I know I did!
What I loved is that it didn't matter that we have vastly differing beliefs and opinions about the Bible and God. She could have stood there and tried to convince me of all the "sin" in my life. But she didn't. And I could have stood there and tried to convince her that a patterned dress probably wouldn't hurt anyone. But I didn't. Because it didn't matter.
What mattered was that we were both doing our best. We both knew God loves us and is with us. We both wanted to share his love. And, that's it.
My hope is that we can ask ourselves this question more often:
What opportunities do we have to encourage but are using for judgment instead?
Lauren, if you're reading this, I support you. I'm praying for you. I'm so grateful for your music and for your faith. You're an inspiration. And, I hope you are encouraged today.
Love and Light,