One thing you should know about me is that I love karaoke. There are a number of songs, in fact, that I learned at karaoke. Songs I never listened to on my own that people love to sing at karaoke.
Garth Brooks’ hard luck anthem “Friends in Low Places” is one such song. I’ve never been a big country fan, and no one in my family ever really loved Garth Brooks. So while I’m sure I heard the song a few times growing up, I never really heard it until I started doing karaoke.
Because people at karaoke bars love them some “Friends in Low Places“.
The song tells the story of a man crashing his ex’s wedding. Apparently, he was never classy enough for her and the night of her wedding finds him having had too much to drink and causing a scene at her reception, ruining her black tie affair.
He insists to everyone listening that he’ll be fine because “He’s got friends in low places.” The song ends with him slinking off to one of his watering holes, a low place where he’ll assumedly drown his sorrows surrounded by these friends.
It’s a song about a guy who’s hit rock bottom.
We’re watching the worst day of his life unfold. We recognize the hurt, despair and insecurity beneath his bluster and anger. And we love the song not just because that hook is so catchy, but because the old saying is true: Misery loves company.
We’ve all been at rock bottom, and we know the irreplaceable gift of a friend who’ll climb into the pit with you. We all need friends in low places.
We don’t imagine God to be one of those friends.
In fact, we look at the man in the song and imagine God is none too pleased with his hard drinking and wedding disruption.
We imagine God sitting on high, frowning sternly. We imagine the last place God would be is in that low place with our singer and his other lowly friends.
But what if we’re wrong? What if God is in every place, not just the high ones? What if God is even in those low places? What if God is one of our friends in those low places?