The Alan Parsons Project was an anomaly in pop music, namely a band without a public face. There was some name association with Parsons, who came to acclaim through a bit of an odd route: he was the engineer for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. Together with the late Eric Woolfson, who wrote the majority of the band’s songs, over the course of several thematic albums Parson created a lush, precise sound straddling the ground between pop and classic progressive rock. Despite never touring and using any number of different singers on every album, the band scored several hits and remains a fond memory for its legion of fans.
On the band’s 1979 album Eve, it included a tender lament to love lost titled “If I Could Change Your Mind.” For some reason it’s been stuck in my head this afternoon, a minor miracle considering the only thing it feels like there’s room for up there today is a massive attack of spring fever and about the same severity of rampaging allergies. But I digress.
I strongly suspect at least part of the song coming to mind has nothing to do with the song itself, but rather the title. Whenever I glance at Twitter these days, the conversation stream is stuffed to the gills and occasionally the fail whale’s blowhole with a whole lot of huffing, puffing and blowing about the need to defeat the health care bill (ain’t calling it reform since it’s nothing of the kind) currently lumbering its way around the hollow halls of Congress. Not that there’s anything out of line in the least about doing whatever one can to prevent the bill, in any of its present forms, from passing; the thing is a nightmare that will have a direct adverse impact on every citizen of this country. However, there is a limit to how many rants of one hundred and forty or less characters on a single subject one can tolerate.
Sure, you can try to persuade your Representative and/or Senators to vote no if they have not already decided to do so. Call, fax, e-mail, snail mail, carrier pigeon, whatever. After a while, though, you might want to grasp the truth that in the vast majority of cases you might as well be spending your time waiting for a passenger pigeon to fly by, since you’ll have an equal chance of that happening as you will of convincing an elected official to see it your way.
There’s a reason why the Nancy Pelosis and Henry Waxmans of this world thrive. No matter how fervent the disgust held for them by others, within their district they are acclaimed and guaranteed re-election almost without effort. You can twitter and blog and podcast and whatever else you feel like to your heart’s content, but it is not going to affect their agenda one iota. Why should it? You cannot hurt their power base. Even if both houses of Congress go Republican this November, Pelosi, Waxman and company will still wield tremendous power. It is their drug, and they have a nearly inexhaustible supply.
You and I are not powerful enough to change their mind.
Only Jesus Christ has that power.
Granted, when you have people like Pelosi who think they’re more Catholic than the Pope it’s a challenge. But not an impossibility.
Instead of yelling, try praying. Witnessing. Politely. Stubbornly, but politely.
Look. What we’re doing now is not working. We need a different approach. One based on the only thing that creates genuine change in the human heart. A heart attuned to Christ as Lord, not just Savior, is one open to reason. Otherwise, forget it.
There is too much at stake to keep playing a losing hand. We need to introduce Jesus to this process. Not praying He’ll trample politicians beneath the hooves of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, tempting though it may be. Rather, by praying we will treat people as we wish to be treated and mindful that we are as they are: created in His image, sinners in need of His grace and love.
Let’s change our approach. Let’s change our mind. Or else we will never change the mind of anyone else.
P.S. Told you it was a pretty song: