When Pop Music Gets it Right
Marty Kessler | July 21, 2023

Remember these lines?

“Think about it, there must be a higher love

Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above

Without it, life is wasted time, Look inside your heart, and I'll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere, In this whole world, what is fair?

We walk the line and try to see, Fallin' behind in what could be”

“Worlds are turnin', and we're just hanging on

Facing our fear, and standin' out there alone

A yearning, yeah, and it's real to me, There must be someone

who's feeling for me”

The above is from the song, “Higher Love” written by Kygo & Whitney Houston, then made famous by the performer Steve Winwood.

Doesn’t this bit of poetry speak of the longing we all have, knowing that there is something higher that what this life offers? You don’t have to look hard to see written into these lyrics the brokenness of the world even when presented with its wealth.

In the music video, Mr. Winwood is singing the song as he is circled by beautiful dancing women. I confess, don’t know what he thought of the video himself. I see in it, however, a reflection of our frustration in trying to find satisfaction without something “higher” than the best of what is here. There he is, talented, good looking, healthy, wealthy, in the company of desirable women and he is singing of looking inside his heart for a higher love.

But what he sings about is not “hidden in the stars above”. The higher love we all long for is only to be found in Jesus Christ. Even while encircled by the world and its temptations, we know instinctively that fulfilling them will not end our hunger.

As Jesus said to the woman at Jacob’s well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John’s gospel 4:10). To drink of this water is to know the true higher love. Nothing of this world will show you that.