“God Must Be Busy” Revisited

I wrote a post, Mini Manna: God Must Be Busy, the same night I heard the Brooks & Dunn song on the CMA broadcast. I am taking this opportunity to revisit the song and my analysis after hearing the songwriter discuss his intent.

“‘God Must Be Busy’ is a song about one simple man’s enduring faith and humility,” says Dunn. “He, humbly acknowledges that his personal prayer seems small in light of the world’s turmoils and tragedies but also respects that, despite it all, God is always available to answer even the smallest of prayers.”

Here is the song, for your viewing and listening pleasure.

 

God Must Be Busy

That anchor man
says the fight began
somewhere in the Middle East.
The world prays for peace.
There’s a single mom
just got laid off when she lost a job
to some foreign hands
in some faraway land.
Last night in Oklahoma
some twister took thirteen
and they’re praying that they find
the missing three.
God must be busy.

That highway sign
went from slow ahead
to traffic’s dead.
Thought it couldn’t get worse
than that Amber Alert.
They say she’s 4,
Colorado plates, headed out-of-state
in a Chevy van.
It’s hard to understand.
You can see it in the faces
of all those highway strangers,
they’re praying that God
keeps that girl from danger.
God must be busy.

And I know in the big picture
I’m just a speck of sand
and God’s got better things to do
than look out for one man.
I know he’s heard my prayers
cause he hears everything,
he just ain’t answered back
or he’d bring you back to me.
God must be busy.

That evening news,
Ain’t much changed
pretty much the same
since I left home.
Yeah that war’s still on.
They found that little girl.
She was soaking wet,
half scared to death
on the side of some road.
Them prayers work, you know.
And the Bloods and Cripps are at it,
and theres a killer drought down south,
and old folks can’t afford the drugs
they can’t live with out.
God must be busy.

And I know in the big picture
I’m just a speck of sand
and God’s got better things to do
than look out for one man.
I know he’s heard my prayers
cause he hears everything,
he just ain’t answered back
or he’d bring you back to me.
God must be busy.

That anchorman,
says the fightings worse,
cities burn in the Middle East.
[The] world prays for peace.

Mini Manna: God Must Be Busy

Brooks and Dunn

The country music duo Brooks and Dunn, performed their song “God Must Be Busy” on the Country Music Awards (CMA) last night. In this sad and moving piece, Ronnie Dunn sings a long list of horrible problems, and expresses the frustration that God isn’t stepping in to set things right.

The song is about doubt. Not the doubt of God’s existence, but that he is not an active and caring God, evidenced by his lack of intervention on the behalf of those petitioning Him.

What, I think, is really conveyed in the song is the conflict created by free will. Most bad things happen because God gives a radical freedom to his people. In this freedom, God does not assert his power over individual will and choices, and allows the consequences to play out. So while God allows bad things to result, he does not cause bad things to happen. God loves us and grieves with us in our pain.

If God is not sending the tragedies, then why not, with his omnipotence, step in and prevent them? At times we experience miracles that suggest the presence of the Divine, but generally we don’t experience much physical intervention.

So is God just too busy? What is God’s role in all this turmoil? Only by coming to terms with a most horrible time in my life, have I come to a personal understanding of the role God plays when tragedies confront me.

God’s role, I feel, is to embrace me, to comfort me, to “lead me beside still waters… [and] restore my soul” as I walk through my personal “Valley of Death“. His “intervention” is to help me heal; help me collect the pieces broken by experience; help me to become Whole again. Whole as I was intended; Whole as I was “wonderfully made”; Whole as I was when “knitted together in my mother’s womb”.