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When Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis set out to make the “anti-rap,” there was no more fitting title than “Thrift Shop.” It’s the last place a rapper would ever want to be seen. True gangstas only hang out in da clubs drinking expensive bubbly and making it rain hundred-dollar bills, yo. Gold chains, diamond studs, flashy grills, Bentleys, mansions — you’ve seen the videos. But Macklemore said enough is enough.

The song “Thrift Shop” is about, well, buying stuff in a thrift shop. And despite what some might think was a joke, the song rocketed to number one on the charts. Could it be that listeners actually resonated with lyrics about green alligator-skin shoes and leopard minks? About smelly clothes and Velcro shoes?

Now please, if you haven’t heard the song, don’t go Googling it. This is neither the time nor the place. I can’t vouch for the language and I’d rather not be tied to it. But the concept — there’s something to that. There’s something compelling about lyrics we can, in essence, relate to — in this case, lyrics about clothes we can actually afford.

Which is why today’s topic hits so close to home. Meet K.K. and David, who made their own parody of “Thrift Shop,” just minutes after they became engaged to marry. Check it out.

{Watch it on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/Y_CWwAyXhmw}

If you’re anything like me, you were mesmerized watching this fun, hip, intoxicating video. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and I couldn’t get the beat outta my head! But perhaps there’s more to this story than just a couple good lookin’ folks getting their dance on and getting hitched. I had what we in the journalism business call a hankering. So I set out to interview K.K. and David, and here’s what I found out.

They were just two little rascals who grew up in Oklahoma City. He’s now got some killer dance moves and works as a cinematographer. (You didn’t think a normal person shot that video on their iPhone, did you?) She’s now got a killer smile and works as a beauty consultant. Their paths crossed at church and they fell in love. Sounds like a perfect Tom-Hanks-Meg-Ryan love story, doesn’t it?

Not so fast. This ain’t no Sleepless in Oklahoma City.

You see, there were a few massive ditches in the road before this couple reached their happy ending. And they were open and honest enough to share them with me — with all of us — knowing that their story of God’s grace might just resonate with others. I can tell you right now that it has already touched my heart.

David was raised in the church, attended a Christian university, and eventually wound up back at church working in ministry. He was married, but it wasn’t going well. And his eventual divorce played a part in him stepping down from his church role.

K.K. was raised in poverty by a single mom, until she was 11 and her mom remarried a wonderful man. She vividly remembers her mom relying on Jesus to provide for them. Still, K.K. felt a void in her life, and admits that she tried to fill it with men. She found herself trapped in an abusive relationship and got pregnant at age 19. After leaving her boyfriend, she set off to raise her son on her own. She named him Judah, which means praise. Her young life seemed to be turning around.

But several years down the road, K.K. got lonely. It’s not easy being a single mom. She started seeking the wrong kind of attention again. And that’s when she met David.

But at this time, he was still married.

Both K.K. and David expressed to me separately that they know they made some terrible life decisions — ones that hurt both themselves and others… and God. But in David’s own words:

God, in his extravagant goodness, has restored the brokenness that was my life.

And straight from K.K.’s mouth:

I’ve experienced levels of grace that I literally never could’ve imagined prior to this! Looking back, I can see how God had his hand of provision on me and how he has been pursuing me my entire life…

So the road that brought K.K. and David together was not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. At times, it wasn’t even paved with good intentions, let alone gold. And this post may pinch a few nerves across the blogosphere. But I believe there is freedom in honesty, and I believe there is freedom in grace.

God continued to till the soil of their hearts even while they were dating. David experienced a jealous love for her, and realized in a small way the intense jealousy God feels for his children. K.K. felt the true love of a man for the first time, and felt the love of God the Father wrap around her like a warm summer.

And then God made it rain.

David and K.K.

Now we watch this video and get a small glimpse into the lives of these two brave and extraordinary souls. We see them dancing in joy, in freedom. We see them surrounded by the support of friends and family. (Hate to break it to you ladies, but tattood-chest-red-pimp-hat is married. I already asked.) We see her precious kid, Judah, breakdancing or doing downward facing dog, no one really knows. (Hate to break it to you, but this little lovebug isn’t up for adoption. I already asked.)

I know a lot of singles out there looking for relationships filled with the gold chains and the mansions and the Bentleys. They’ve set unrealistic expectations to find the perfect mate and have the perfect marriage. But the truth of the matter is that we’re all far from perfect.

I’d like to propose something simpler. I’d like to propose Grandpa’s plaid button-up shirt and Grandma’s coat. Yeah, they may smell a little funky, but they’ve sure lasted a long time. And just like the grandpas and grandmas that have gone before, perhaps our relationships can be based on more meaningful stuff — the hand-me-downs of trust, honesty, and strong faith in a loving and incredibly gracious God.

Now that’s a love worth dancing for.

~Ruth