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Mona – The Art of Love

May 19, 2011

Although the intention of the adverts between songs on Spotify appears to be to irritate the listener into buying the full version, it sometimes brings to light an up-and-coming musician or two worth listening to.

Such was the case with James Vincent McMorrow. And such was the case today with the band Mona.

Some of the songs on their new (self-titled) album are better than others, and I haven’t yet decided on my favourite, but the lyrics of Teenager stood out for me (click on the link to listen), having just crossed the border to the shores of twenty-hood myself…

When you’re young
When you’re young

When you’re young when you’re young
Yeah you’re just a teenager
Wait little chump
Yeah you wait a little later
Grow up you grow up
And keep all the anger
Come in a lover
You’re leaving a hater

Love, love you can’t find the love
Love, love you can’t find the love

Just look up just look up
Yeah you’re gettin’ older
You came in scared
But you’re leaving bold
Don’t give up don’t give up
It’s not done or over
When they push away
Turn the cold shoulder

Love, love you can’t find the love
Love, love you can’t find the love

All I know is
It’s gonna get a little closer
All I know is
It’s gonna be today
All I know is
It’s gonna get a little better
All I know is
We’ ll see better days

When you’re young
And so full of something

Love, love you can’t find the love
Love, love you can’t find the love

Is it only when we’re young that we’re “full of something”? I hope not, because then, according to this song, lots of us (myself now included) lack substance.

I’m not sure what the band meant by “something” but I think we all, regardless of age, have an overpowering sense of longing despite our attempts to suppress it. Sometimes this might come out when we listen to music (see Why calm in the chaotic?). Other times, it might take us by surprise in an inexplicable silence, an unfathomable dream, a conversation with someone experiencing the same, or a situation which leaves us speechless and without hope.

Mona’s song seems to suggest that this “something”, this longing, is a quest for love. We know that we can find fulfilment in love, so we search for it, and yet we can’t find it, and if we think we have, we realise that it is often transient and unsatisfying: Love, love you can’t find the love.

Although we like to think we came in scared and are leaving bold, the truth is we’re often left scared, scared that we won’t find love, and scared that we’ll lose it again if we do, especially as we get older.

However, the Bible says that we need not fear, for “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ” (1 John 4:18)

Where on earth can we find this love? We ask ourselves. But that’s the wrong question. Surely we can’t find love in a world where human nature leaves us unloved and disillusioned:

When they push away
Turn the cold shoulder

Come in a lover
You’re leaving a hater

So if we can’t find true and perfect love on earth, where else can we?

We’re all familiar with John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

But what does that mean? Let’s see what John says in one of his letters:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:7-17)

When we realise that we are loved by God, we can find true fulfilment, and when we learn to love him, it becomes easier to love those around us.

“We love him because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:9)

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