I've been on a Sufjan Stevens kick of late -- I do that... not listen to someone for awhile and then come back and burn up my iPod listening to them all the time (hello Muse!).... This song has always struck me. It's from Steven's album Illinois and is, of course, about the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. who killed all of his victims in Illinois and was executed by the state in 1994. The song is haunting and a bit disturbing -- and beautiful -- but the last part gets to me.... Stevens sings of looking underneath the floorboards of his life for his own secrets and that in his own way he is "really just like him". Now is Sufjan Stevens really saying he is just like a serial killer who raped and killed 33 boys and buried them underneath his house after covering them in lye?
Yes and no. None of us are "like" Gacy in the type of sin we commit, but sin we do and will -- and without Christ we would all end up in the same place -- damned to an eternal existence outside the presence of God -- or as people should call it -- Hell. So on the surface I am really not like Gacy -- and nether are you. Underneath though? We all need Christ's saving grace because as Jeremiah tells us:
"The heart is more deceitful than all elseJeremiah 17:9 (NAS)
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?