Thank you for stopping by, hope you are having a great day.
We return today to our mini series on RENT the musical and today’s number is the title track.
Have a listen here:
The song kick starts the musical with a bang – introducing us to a few of the characters and giving a glimpse of their part in the story. You’ll probably agree that this is pretty much standard for the opening number of a musical.
But, where I think RENT differs is that you get an insight into the songwritters questions. Obviously they tie in with what the character thinks but just recently I’ve been struck by these words towards the end of the song:
How Can You Connect In An Age,
Where Strangers, Landlords, Lovers,
Your Own Blood Cells Betray
What Binds The Fabric Together
When The Raging, Shifting Winds Of Change
Keep Ripping Away
More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/rent/#share
The series of questions come rapidly and can almost be missed. They are very real questions that still need an answer today.
How do we connect with each other and what holds it all together?
This stanza sums up a great deal about today’s world. How do we find community, friendship, acceptance, love and support in age where we are constantly let down? You could replace any of the betrayers with any number of people – politicians, friends, neighbours, spouses or even God.
The search for real community is what the character Mark is really looking for. But, he hides behind his camera to avoid it – to keep from getting hurt he removes himself from the one thing he actually wants. I am not advocating that we share absolutely everything with absolutely everyone. But, we do need people who we can be real with. Otherwise how do we really connect if the world is full of people who will betray us? Yes, our friends and family might let us down at times – but true friends will never betray us.
The book of Proverbs along with RENT gives us some great advice on choosing friends;
We need friends who are consistent. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. Some friends don’t love at all times – their love is based on what they can get from us. It is often the small number of close friends who stick by us that matter, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Our friends will be open, honest, and sincere. Solomon said, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6). Sometimes we need the correcting word, sometimes we need friends who will bring correction because they love us. We need friends who check up on the state of our marriages, the way we parent, our finances and our private lives.
Wisdom is so important in all areas of life, especially with friendships. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel” We need close friends who will be our wise council, perhaps older friends with a different view point, a reassuring conversation that they days do get easier or an encouraging positive conversation about life.
Mrs B and I have many friends who are much older than us who have been invaluable to our marriage, our parenting and our learning to follow Jesus.
Our close friends will also be considerate, they will empathise with our situation and live out Proverbs 25:20, “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda”. They will know how we are feeling and act accordingly. They know when to make us laugh, they know when to hold us, they know when to cry with us and they know when to just have a cup of tea with us.
Our best friends will be those who are nearby — constant, honest, counseling, and considerate. Mark and Roger show this level of friendship throughout the entire musical. They are consistently honest with each other, at times brutal – but their friendship lasts beyond their disagreements, beyond their differences and beyond their frailties. They both demonstrate these four points of true friendship.
So, as we run the slide rule over our friendships we also need to run it over ourselves.
Are we constant in our friendships? Are we honest? Do we give wise counsel? Are we considerate, do we mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice?
The fabric that the characters are searching for in RENT is that of true friendship. True friendship binds the fabric together when the raging, shifting winds of change keep ripping away. Ultimately they find it by the end of the musical (but more on that as we progress through the posts)
Our prayer is that we learn to be true friends to those around us, it is a learning process and we will make mistakes along the way. But, we want to get better and that is the start!
Be blessed in your journeys in finding true friendship and may we learn to be great friends,
Grace and Peace,
Steve & Susie