- Sonya Leigh Anderson
Lies & a Lion
Oh come on, my soul
Oh, don't you get shy on me
Lift up your song
'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord*
This chorus has been playing on loop in my head for several days—and I know why. I know the song is a battle cry, and it is God waking up my shy little soul. Waking the lion maybe. Because I’ve got a story to tell.
He’s given me a story in a book, and He’s given me a story I can tell out loud. But sometimes I’m shy. Partly I’m shy by personality. INFJ and such. Partly my shyness is the good stuff of humility, God-given and hard-fought maturity and love. But part of my shyness is my own flesh giving way to run-of-the-mill fear. Not one bit holy. Fear not of God, but of people.
Oh come on, my soul…Oh, don't you get shy on me
Because I’ve got a story to tell. And the story matters. And the story is GOOD.
But first I must acknowledge the enemy. There is an enemy whose story is false beyond description—variations and scripts showing up in unexpected places. The past couple of years the false stories have been multiplying and it is no miracle. It is a battle, insidious and evil.
Oh, don't you get shy on me…Lift up your song
My song. Our song. Our STORY. Oh, followers of Jesus. It is a
And if the story is not good, the story is not HIS. Let’s start with that. If the “gospel” you hear is more bad news than good, then it is half-truth, and likely lies.
I am remembering my dear friend and neighbor Diane, now deceased—perhaps by God’s merciful timing. By the time we moved out of our previous neighborhood in 2019 Alzheimers had stolen my friend’s memory; a horrible disease and I’m not saying it was good. But the past couple of years would have been torture for my right-leaning friend and it was a mercy that in the end she still knew the one thing that mattered. And every memory-care resident who walked the same halls as Diane heard her repeat it—this introduction to her Very Good Story:
Has anyone told you God loves you today?
Listen people. The story starts with LOVE. Hear the words of Jesus. Paul. John—“the disciple Jesus loved.” The world will know and recognize followers of Jesus by their LOVE.
And hear this, too. The story DOES NOT start with sin, but with Creation. God speaking, and seeing the GOOD.
The story starts with this good.
Every. Single. Human. Has this beginning—
God loves you, and he created you with beauty and purpose and imagination and worth. And when He spoke YOU into existence and He looked at His unique creation—He saw his breathtaking image, His glorious design, and He shouted
YOU ARE VERY GOOD!!
Imagine a desperate world hearing these words from your lips, and mine.
You’ve got a lion inside of those lungs…
Listen, beloved human, made in God’s very good image. This Good God created the you that is truly YOU with meaning and purpose, and glorious design.
Your very good race.
Your very good gender.
Your very good body.
Your very good personality.
Your very good mind, and strengths, and God-shaped image. You have a DESIGN and when God made you, His design was GOOD.
…a lion inside of those lungs…
My Lion has a name, and His name is Jesus, and He has given me THIS STORY to tell.
But the enemy has a story, too. And it is the opposite story in every conceivable way.
A story about mistakes. Distortion. Nothing good.
Ethnicity. Race. That beautiful skin God chose to clothe you.
Would you believe the lies?
And what of your gender? Your body? Horror of deceptions—
Those damnable lies will seep into your soul and you will believe them. You are worthless. Dishonorable. Too much. Shameful. Invisible. Lacking. Never, ever, ever ENOUGH.
There’s even a version calling itself “gospel” repeating this lie.
Evil Creation. Forever a sinner.
Listen. Even after Jesus has saved you—the enemy will try to tell you this lie.
Now maybe you read these words and you wonder what this author believes about SIN. Oh, let me assure you, dear reader—I acknowledge sin, and the sin is real. It is the slime of every insidious lie. The brokenness separating us humans from GOOD. (In the beginning the liar deceiving, and the humans rejecting God’s good.)
We all have sinned…and the wages are death. Death of everything good.
(Oh, how often in the Bible does a “but” introduce the very best news?!)
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. (Romans 5:15)
The story started with GOOD and to GOOD it returns.
… a LION inside of those lungs…Get up and praise the Lord!
Listen to the words of the Lion Himself:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
If the news is not GOOD the news is not HIS!
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. (John 10:10)
Listen good child of the Father
Listen beloved of Jesus
Listen to the Holy Spirit’s rumbling inside of your soul…
There is a LION inside of your lungs, and you have HIS GOOD STORY to tell!