Every once in awhile a song catches my attention, and I become hooked on it, only to soon after discover an even deeper meaning to the song and how it may apply to my life. Most recently a song has stuck on me in this manner – Jordin Spark’s “Battlefield”. I heard the song while at work one night, and the words caught my attention in such a profound way, I began to weep. Not really understanding why, just knowing in my heart the song was moving. Later I downloaded the song and began to listen to it repeatedly and began to think “How true of life and all the ways in which we love”
The song, essentially depicts love as a battlefield, love is not for the faint of heart, for in love we often find ourselves fighting wars; for the one(s) we love and later with the one(s) we love. I want to explore the depths of this song, and how it speaks to me.
I am sure the song is leaning more toward the love between a couple, like boyfriend girlfriend – but none the less there is a deeper inclination to the song that just that. But first and foremost I will discuss this angle of the song, as it is evidently, most prominent.
More often than not, its mere words than bring a couple to arguing and fighting. It’s something one said to the other, and then it’s on; a battle takes place, each one trying to one-up the other with insults ‘till sight of the whole thing is lost, and it’s war. It only takes a hurt person to keep hurling insults, but it takes a strong person to be humble and stop. Often pride will keep one or the other, if not both, from Seeing eye to eye, meeting on mutual ground, and settling disputes without a fight. It takes a tough person to take it, deal with it, and then let it go.
Often, I have witnessed in my own relationships the desire to have not spoken anything, or find myself wishing I had the strength to stop speaking before the argument escalated. For that reason, l often find myself thinking how I need a strong partner; to take on moments like those. For how else does one survive them? It takes a guarded heart and mind to be able to survive the fallout of such verbal wars.
And after the fight, both people involved can feel so low, and wonder how the heck is that love? After being so high, it’s a long way to come down – to speaking hurtful words, Words are powerful and infectious, they sit on us, weigh us down, make us feel low. They infect our souls with negative thinking, causing doubt and insecurity.
Sometimes, no words spoken can be just as bad. What if the person you were with, or wanted to be with, never said anything? No “I love you” or no returned call, no sign of affection – that is just as hurtful and before you know it, there is a gap that is ever widening between both hearts. Love dies when love is not returned, and not just simply returned, but returned the way it is desired. Love is not love unless you love one like they want to be loved. Gently, sweetly, passionately, full of affection, with kind words.
Not to say that arguments don’t happen, cause they always will, and when they do, it takes both people to be humble enough to do their part to reconcile, as both people had a part in the argument. More often than not, one may decide to take the blame, or one tries to put it on the other – and nothing gets resolved. Bitterness and anger then manifest in the heart and it’s only then a matter of time, till the next fight – and it will be worse.
I like to think this song can also reflect the love between one and God. For we, in anger, as sinful people by nature, can often curse God. And when we do, we heap a ton of trouble onto our lives. We create a battlefield for ourselves to walk through – life gets hard as we get hard hearted. I often feel like I’m walking through a minefield, watching my every step, knowing in my heart, (when) I am not right with God that I walk a dangerous path. I constantly blow up and fall apart and get back up, only to be blown to bits again. Sooner or later, I get right with God, I bless him with my words in prayer, I can feel Gods love flowing over me again – but then it’s not long after till I’m dodging falling bombs – the hurtful words of others landing on me. People cursing me for my faith, for my zeal, people who want to crush the spirit within me, people who would even call themselves friends, more often than not, its friends, and not enemies. Where is my amour? I better go and get it. I may not survive long without it – and in this case, my amour is God, his word, he is my shield, my protector, my savior.
Speaking of friends, how often do we war with each other?, best friend and best friend, soul mates, buds, birds of a feather, Christian brother and sister – the ones we love and love to have around ourselves. It’s not an easy feat dealing with a friend in a bad place. I know how often I hurl visceral insults at friends without meaning too. I have often hurt people with my words; for they are drawn from a wide vocabulary and can do more damage than any fist I’ve ever thrown. More often than not, I think physical damage is easier to deal with than verbal damage. It’s ironically funny how tough I and my friends are – we are from the worst walks of life and have been through much. I’ve been beat with branches by my foster parents, I have friends who have experienced police brutality – but not even that can prepare a heart for a well placed verbal jab – it takes a man down.
Speaking of physical fights, no one have I fought harder and longer, and more brutally than my own brother. We’ve painted the walls red with each other’s blood – and it was always over something the other one said, quite often something small, something stupid. How often do we do that to our family, to the closest people in our lives?
There are few people I love more than my younger brothers, yet at the same time there are few people I could hate more in moments where we are arguing and fighting. This is due to the fact that there are few that can be so stubborn, as to not let the argument settle. One has to keep trying to get the last word, has to be the most intelligent or cool sounding.
With me and my brother, it often ends in bellowing matches, to which I normally respond with fists. I can’t take being yelled at by my younger brother, and well, since he got bigger, he can’t take me playing the big brother part – so we end up in bloody fist fights. By the time we’re done, we’re both pretty hurt. Not by the physical damage, but by the words we spoke to one another. I remember one fight, when it was done, I hated myself. I thought, how could I dare say such things? Is this my example for my little brothers? Is this how I teach them to respond to these situations in life? I felt sick to my stomach, and soon after, via my mother, I learned that he felt the same way. We were both remorseful for not having better control over our tongues, for if we could but control our tongues, we’d never have a reason to raise our fists at each other.
Families get torn apart by what they say – or for a lack of what they don’t say. I’ve met young people on the street, teenagers, 13,14,15 – some even younger – who have run away from home because of an argument they had with their parents! They get in their heads the parents no longer love them. Once too often they were told to “shut up”, or “you’re wrong” or “turn down”, or “go away” or… and what about “I love you” or “good job” or “well done” those words, never seemed to come, and the kid ends up broken hearted and runs away. I find them, on the street, high on crack or meth, ecstasy, stoned, drunk – looking for some kind of love, or affection. I used to run with that crowd, when I first moved to the city. I remember two girls, one was 13, the other was 17, bother were runaways, having had arguments with their parents. They’re both dead now, killed in a car accident, joyriding with older guys. All I can think is… what if they heard some kind words a little more often… would they still be alive?
Even closer to the heart, my friend David, he was a good man, I’d say kid, but he was 24. Two and a half years ago, he wanted to go home for Christmas, he just wanted to see his family, spend time with his sisters. David had a drug problem; he liked cocaine – a lot. His step father would not let him come home. It crushed David, as I knew he was hoping for an escape, a way out of the city, a way out of the drugs. Perhaps he even needed an escape from his so called friends. You see, David was the fall guy, he was the one everyone tagged with insults. He was an easy target. Seems he took one too many shots, and his step father not letting him come home for Christmas – tied the rope around his neck. They (some walkers), in the river valley, found David, hanging from a tree by a skipping rope.
Yes, love is like a battlefield, but it should not be one to die in – rather we should fight for the truth and seek what is righteous – fight for love, not love to fight. All in all, words are powerful. They have the power to build us up and set us free, or they can tear us down, and quite literally, kill us. What do you choose to do with the words you speak?