Thomas Griffin (7/23/20)
“Isn’t it amazing how a man can find himself alone?” Here we have the opening line of a song that brings both transcendence and utter humanity to the table. “Difference Maker” by Needtobreathe is a masterpiece because it recognizes what greatness is while also calling us all to achieve it. The difference maker is the one who can walk up on a hill, and stand in front of a crowd; he looks down at his hands and says, I am a difference maker.
The lyrics are not a call to be prideful or merely look at what we do for the world. It is more about where we find ourselves and how we respond to the present moment. During the current state of affairs many people may be looking towards the future with a sense of uncertainty and fear. Will I lose my job? Will my loved ones stay healthy? How would I respond if I became very ill? Loneliness is an interesting phenomenon. Many who experience the feeling of loneliness are those who find themselves in the presence of others. Amidst all of these fears there is the call of the difference maker: what am I doing to serve and sacrifice for those around me?
The hands must be looked at because the difference they are making in the world must be concrete. Effects of our goodness in the world must be visible, not merely in our imagination. This song is about a call to action: be a man or woman who has the ability to change the circumstances of others around them in a real way. If we do not answer this call to action then life will just be, “like a window that we’re peeking through.” Our one life should not be a spectator sport.
Now, more than ever, families have the best opportunity to serve one another and spend time with one another. We are each being given the chance to make a difference in our relationships in a way that is unprecedented. Let us enlist our names among the men and women who place others’ needs before their own. Then we will be in a place to have our hands be the ones to change the world.
Thomas Griffin teaches Apologetics in the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island and lives with his wife. He received a master’s degree in theology and is currently a master’s candidate in philosophy. He writes for several Catholic media outlets.
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