Things are so often not what they seem. I've learned this lesson countless times in my life, but one such instance came from the most unlikely source. Growing up in the 1980s, I was never a Twisted Sister fan. Although they were quite popular among many of my peers, their heavy-metal style was discordant with my musical sensibilities. Nevertheless, one of their hit songs presented an exception. "We're Not Gonna Take It" was a radio staple in the Reagan decade and, quite honestly, was a tune I secretly held as a top-ten favorite. It was the right balance of youthful rebellion, hard-hitting authenticity, and melody. What a minute...did I say melody?
How and why the power chords of this Twisted Sister classic sounded melodic was a conundrum to me. I genuinely disliked the band, but I couldn't get this one song out of my head. Dee Snider's chorus reverberated for years: "We're not gonna take it! No, we ain't gonna take it! We're not gonna take it...anymore!" I wanted to write this song out of my mental playlist, but Dee and the band were simply not gonna take it.
Then I learned something quite interesting. I forget my original source, but somewhere along the way I was informed that the melody for "We're Not Gonna Take It" is exactly the same as that for the traditional Christian hymn "O Come All Ye Faithful." I remember the first time I was told this...I said, "No way! It can't be!" Then I hummed it. And, sure enough, it is the same! Go ahead...hum it. You know you want to!!!!
Now, let me pause and say what I'm NOT saying. I'm certainly not proposing that Twisted Sister is a Christian band or that Dee Snider is some sort of undercover evangelist. I don't think either of these is even a remote possibility. However, I am suggesting that the truth of things is so often much different and much more interesting than we can ever imagine. For years I wondered why this "twisted" song replayed over and over in my mind, and then it suddenly became clear...its melody is one that has stood the tests of music history and has brought comfort and grace to so many through the centuries. Under the harsh electric sounds of guitars and the jangling vocals of Dee Snider lies a resident beauty...a space inhabited by God. What a lesson for this Twisted Sister deprecator! God is everywhere...even in some of the most unexpected places!
So, I guess you could say that, in some weird way, I was given a straight truth from a rather twisted source! Sure, it's an admittedly minor revelation, but it is definitely a lesson I think about a lot. Truth so often comes to us from unlikely people and circumstances. But it is truth nonetheless, and God can use it to change and strengthen us. I'll never be a Twisted Sister fan, but I'll let them straighten me out if that's what God wants.