If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there are two kinds of Christians… Those on Team Sloppy Wet, and those on Team Unforeseen.
“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan is probably my favorite contemporary worship song. You’re probably familiar with David Crowder Band’s cover of it. In DCB’s version, there is a line that says, “Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.” John Mark McMillan’s original line, though, is, “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.” For some reason, this line seems to cause controversy wherever it goes in the Christian world 🙂
It seems like the argument I hear most often against “sloppy wet” is that it sounds creepy or too seductive or something for church. (My counterargument is that “unforeseen” is even creepier.) But I think the people who make that claim are missing the point personally… Here’s why I love “sloppy wet” so much.
In a behind-the-song video for “How He Loves”, John Mark McMillan explains, “The love I’m singing about in that song is […] not a pretty, clean… It’s not a Hollywood, hot-pink love. It’s […] the kind of love that’s willing to love things that are messy and willing to love even the difficult and sort of […] gross kind of things.” That’s why I love the song in and of itself so much, but it’s particularly why I love the original “sloppy wet” line.
When I think of “sloppy wet kiss” in the context of this song, my first thought is not making out, believe it or not. My first thought is of a toddler kissing his dad.
Toddlers are sticky. They are sloppy. They are messy. When they kiss their parents, they often leave behind crumbs and slobber. And they always seem to have some sort of red stain around their mouths, don’t they? (Is it popsicle? Lollipop?? Kool-Aid??? Who knows????)
But if that toddler runs up and kisses his dad, is the dad going to yell at him? Is he going to be mad about it? No way.
The dad is stoked on his kid. He loves him. He’s excited that they’re in each other’s lives. He’s not angry because he got a little sticky in the process of being adored by his child.
And you know what? I’m pretty sure that’s how God feels about us.
God’s plan for mankind’s redemption was not easy and clean. It was messy. It was unthinkably scandalous. It was passionate. God — the Creator of the universe! — became a man and allowed his creation to mock, disbelieve, and literally murder him.
Humans are sticky. We do and say things we shouldn’t. We aren’t perfect. We destroy more than we create. But if we run full-force at God to show him affection, will he yell at or reject us for that? No stinkin’ way.
God is stoked on us. He loves us. He’s excited that we’re in each other’s lives. He’s not angry because in order to redeem us, he had to descend into the stickiness.
He loves us passionately and relentlessly. He knows that we’re going to make messes that we can’t clean up. And he loves us anyway. He knows about the mysterious popsicle/lollipop/Kool-Aid stain on our faces. And he loves us anyway.
As sticky and gross as we are, God still loves and wants us. That, my friends, is amazing grace.
Anyway, that’s why I love that line so much. Which team do you belong to and why? Sloppy Wet or Unforeseen? Let me know in the comments!