DISCLAIMER: If you are offended by curse words, please do not read further. This post contains explicit lyrics.
When my husband first met me, I think he found my prayer requests for certain celebrities quite amusing. We would write out our prayer requests like good little believers in our nice little decorative prayer journals purchased from a family friendly Christian store. The list usually included people we knew that asked for specific prayers, church leaders, the president, our government, firefighters, police, first responders, military etc., and Marshall Mathers aka Eminem. True story.
When I pray for “Eminem”, I always call him by his birth name rather than his stage name. It’s important to me – for whatever reason – to pray for his “true” identity. At the moment that he was formed in the womb, he was fearfully, wonderfully, and beautifully made. He just wasn’t told that. Maybe his family didn’t know that. And then, guess what? Life happened. Some people are born into wonderful, loving families who adore them. Some are not. From the things that Marshall has written and his bio on Wikipedia, I take it that he was not.
The goosebumps really came when I heard his lyrics from the song Airplanes Part II by B.O.B. If you haven’t heard it you must google it. You know the catchy popular song with the hook “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now, a wish right now, a wish right now” (which is really a prayer they just don’t know that yet). Here is what Eminem sang (and I assume wrote) which, according to Wikipedia, was his response to pretending what would have happened if he had not pursued a musical career. Thank God he did:
Alright let’s pretend Marshall Mathers never picked up a pen
Let’s pretend things would have been no different
Pretend he procrastinated, had no motivation
Pretend he just made excuses that were so paper thin they could blow away with the wind
Marshall, you’re never gonna make it, makes no sense to play the game there ain’t no way that you’llwon
Pretend he just stayed outside all day and played with his friends
Pretend he even had a friend to say was his friend
And it was not time to move and schools weren’t changing again
He wasn’t socially awkward and just strange as a kid
He had a father and his mother wasn’t crazy as $h!t
And he never dreamed he could rip stadiums and was just lazy as shit
F&$% a talent show in a gymnasium
B!tch you won’t amount to shit quit daydreaming kid
You need to get your cranium checked you thinking like an alien and just ain’t realistic
Now pretend they ain’t just make him angry with this sh!t
And there was no one he could even aim at when he’s pissed at
And his alarm went off to wake him but he didn’t make it to the Rap Olympics
Slept through his plane and he missed it
He’s gon’ have a hard time explaining to Hailie and Lainie these food stamps and this WIC sh!t
Cause he never risked shit! He hoped and he wished it! But it didn’t fall in his lap so he ain’t even here
He pretends that …
Oh yes I got serious goosebumps. Am I misunderstanding what he said? Or did he just say that his father abandoned him, his mother had serious issues of her own, he was moved from school to school throughout his life never really planting any roots, and did not have any real friends. People tried to get him to stop having vision and made fun of him for it. But he refused to let what other people thought and said keep him from doing what he knew he was called to do. The opposition only made him stronger, more determined, and even better. He’s not an excuse maker and not a procrastinator. He’s a survivor. He took a risk. He followed vision. And now he is known as one of the “greatest artists of all time” according to Rolling Stones Magazine and others in the music and rap industry. Heck yes I pray for Marshall Mathers.
Before I converted to Christianity, I was quite the outspoken atheist and/or agnostic. I’m still quite outspoken, just not an atheist or agnostic. I can tell you – without any hesitation – that now, because of who I am in Christ, “I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody come take my hand. We’ll walk this road together, through the storm, whatever weather … cold or warm. Just letting you know that you’re not alone. Follow (and he’s not a follower) if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.” (From Eminem’s song Not Afraid).
And that includes Marshall Mathers who I have called my brother in the title to (1) freak you out wondering what his sister says about him and (2) because I am seriously praying for him and believing, by faith, that he will be my brother in Christ one day.
I can praise, pray, write, journal, and blog all day but only Marshall Mathers can reach the lost people of this world the way that he does. That’s his job now. And I seriously cannot even imagine what his life transformed would look like upon realizing how much God loves him. And how many people he could reach for the kingdom with the talent, skills and abilities that God gave him. Yes please! I mean… he does currently have 77,755,901 likes on Facebook. Even more interesting, he’s a man with 16.1M followers on twitter who follows no one. Absolutely zero. No one. Go look.
Maybe he’s never met anyone worth following. Do you remember that day?
After all …There’s only ONE man worth following. And the world will never find Him. And as long as you turn your nose up to Marshall Matthews, he’ll never meet Him through your introduction either.