Ever since I was made aware of her music, I have been enamored by Esperanza Spalding. She is based in jazz, but has soul, funk, hip-hop and R&B infused into her style. In her sone Vauge Suspicions, Spalding examines the violence that is so present in our world and exclaims appeals to God, but at the end questions . . ., “what is God for?”
This question is one that is so relevant to many Americans right now (I only want to speak from my own culture) especially those in younger generations who have known our nation as one in perpetual warfare. Particularly, as a Christian, I feel that too often our war complex is too linked with a twisted divine manifest destiny in which we assume the destiny of being the the world police and/or leaders of democracy. But as it was for the original manifest destiny, intentions, which are presented as good, often end up being tragic, oppressive, arrogant, and self-seeking.
I don’t believe Spalding or others in our generation are necessarily questioning God. Rather, they seeking for a God that is more than the one presented in our military engagements, violent culture, and seemingly self-focused policies. What so many seem to want is a God (and followers of that God) who brings Shalom.