I’ve been kind of on the outs with God lately. Not serious “I quit this religion” outs, but more like how when you and your best friend have a falling out over a book club choice or something and you then speak either grudgingly or in too-polite formalities.
For one reason and another I’ve just not been at the place where I’m talking with God much.
So I was watching “House” the other night (see, I really AM getting to the Hugh Laurie part) and there was a scene where Mr. Laurie-as-Dr. House was playing the best version of “What A Friend (We Have in Jesus)”. And I just lost it. Right there on the couch, crying like a baby and rewinding that thirty seconds of show over and over again.
I first heard that song at my Grandmother’s church when I was a child. We visited her church a lot and it seems they only sang WAF, Count Your Many Blessings and How Great Thou Art. They were all nice songs, but they weren’t my favourite.
After the House thing I popped in Mahalia’s version, because I’m a firm believer in the law that if Mahalia ever sang a hymn, her version is the best.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer!
It was like I was hearing those same words for the first time in the little Kewanna Baptist Church. Instead of being a rote recitation, it hit me that these were the brave soldiering words sung by careworn people in a little farming town. People who had fought harder to climb hills I can’t even imagine. Who lost siblings as babies, went hungry through the Depression and knew the hard song of the auctioneer selling their memories at a cut-rate to pay off the bank.
It makes me feel stupid for being mad about my own relatively minimal problems.