Words that Sting

One of the most influential people in my young Christian life, as a new follower of Jesus, was the musician Keith Green. Keith was loved by the Christian masses but not always appreciated by the “formal” church because he was unafraid of sharing God’s truth as he understood it. But no matter what anyone thought of him, one thing was certain – Keith was not a hypocrite. He practiced in his private life what he preached on stage.

One of his songs has influenced my life heavily over the years. The lyrics of “Asleep in the Light” were scathing when Keith first released the song in November 1978. Young Christians at the time – many anti-establishment, preferring to attend church in a tent, barefoot in blue jeans rather than in heels and pearls – nodded in approval. To many of us, the church seemed introverted, and was not doing enough to reach the unsaved, the poor, the needy. Keith’s message (and throngs of Christians’ response to it) did not sit well with some established church leaders.

Now, more than 30 years later, I marvel at the progress that has been made to reach the unsaved, the poor, the needy. Technology has enhanced our ability to see needs up close and personal, and help not only our neighbors, but needy people around the globe in as little time as it takes to text a donation on a cell phone. Yet it isn’t enough. In hopes of sparking renewed vigor and resources to help the spiritually and materially hopeless and downtrodden, and reach the world with the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I offer up Keith’s words once more.

Asleep in the Light, by Keith Green

Do you see, do you see/All the people sinking down.
Don’t you care, don’t you care/Are you gonna let them drown?
How can you be so numb/Not to care if they come?
You close your eyes/And pretend the job’s done.
“Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord”/You know it’s all I ever hear.
No one aches, no one hurts/No one even sheds one tear.
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds/And He cares for your needs.
And you just lay back/And keep soaking it in.
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?
‘Cause He brings people to your door/And you turn them away
As you smile and say/”God bless you, be at peace.”
And all heaven just weeps/‘Cause Jesus came to your door/You’ve left him out on the streets.
Open up, open up/And give yourself away.
You see the need, you hear the cries/So how can you delay?
God’s calling and you’re the one/But like Jonah you run.
He’s told you to speak/But you keep holding it in.
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?
The world is sleeping in the dark/That the church just can’t fight/‘Cause it’s asleep in the light.
How can you be so dead/When you’ve been so well fed?
Jesus rose from the grave/And you, you can’t even get out of bed!

How can you be so numb/Not to care if they come?
You close your eyes/And pretend the job’s done.

Don’t close your eyes/Don’t pretend the jobs done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *