“If it bleeds, it leads,” is a saying relating to journalism, to the news, to the way dirty laundry sells. My heart has been broken a few times when I have realized that we people will often pursue what is dark, ugly, scandalous, stoopid, while turning away from what is good.
We kind of remind me of dogs, the way you can give them a bath, get them all clean, and they go out and look for the stinkiest, most disgusting thing they can find to roll around in. My husband used to empathize with the dog, and not me. “Honey, he just wants to smell like a dog and you’re trying to force him to smell like some kind fruity, coconut thing.”
Trying to get tigers to change their stripes has been the bane of my existence for most of my life. In my defense, with the exception of the dog, I have never actually tried to convince anyone to become a, “fruity coconut thing.” My life has been surrounded by much bigger issues, people with addictions, violence, self-destruction, suicide. I was born into a lot of dysfunction, so it wasn’t chosen, I was plunged into it, but then later in life it became a pattern, a habit, a stronghold, a script.
The Lord done snatched that script right out of my hands. We’ve had a bit of a tug of war a few times, there are habits, behaviors, history that it has been painful to let go of. God is good though,patient, steadfast, relentless.
“If it bleeds it leads.” When I first heard that I thought of the Lord immediately, the blood of the Lamb, the inherent authority behind His love and grace. He leads because He died for me. I am His. I am not under His authority because He is bigger and badder, I am under His authority because He is invested in me.
That’s what love is, an investment.
It’s sad to me that we have people in the world who still equate authority with nothing but fear, power, and control. As a kid I had so much of that, I had to become fearless, powerful, and in control myself. I did it too, very successfully. I get it, it’s a protective, defensive stance, one in which “might makes right.”
I was so successful at it myself, that today I no longer even respond to fear, power, and control. That part of me broke long ago. It just doesn’t exist anymore. But just one drop of grace, one tiny fragment of love, and I am completely undone. Grace has genuine power and authority.
If it bleeds, it leads. Those are words of wisdom trickling out from the culture, distorted perhaps like something we see through the glass darkly, but it is knocking at the door of our hearts, asking us to listen. Can we hear it? Will we listen?
“She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” Proverbs 3:18