Holy Days, Music

Your own personal Jesus

Your own, personal, Jesus
someone to hear your prayers,
someone who cares.

I got in the car with #1 Son yesterday, and he brought along Johnny Cash’s American IV. Listening to it I had a total Good Friday to Easter experience. So much of it is wistful and some of it downright sad. “He’s breaking my heart,” I said.

I remembered the video of his cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt, with his beloved June Carter Cash looking so frail and so beautiful, and I said to #1 Son, “Why was he so sad? He had so many years with a woman he loved so extravagantly, and he believed in God. Didn’t he believe there would be something more? Because he sounds so inconsolable.” #1 Son, wise beyond his years, said, “Keep listening. It’s not all like this.”

At a stop light, I asked for the jewel case and that’s when I got a glimpse of the liner notes, in which Johnny wrote about going home to his beloved after a long day in the studio. Talking to her about what he had done that day made it real in a way it hadn’t been before, he wrote. “Oh,” I said. “That’s okay then.” And #1 Son nodded.

And I was reminded that unless we feel, really feel, the full depth of our sadness, of the world’s sadness, the joy of Easter is no higher or wider than a Hallmark card or a marshmallow Peep.

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