Monday, March 21, 2011

Spiritual by Spain/Johnny Cash

“What do you believe?”

When someone asks you this question, do you tell them what you want to believe or what you actually believe?  I would love to believe that there is something out there, a being, a force that provides us comfort and companionship in times of darkness, but I'm not sure if that's what I truly believe.

“Spritual” by Spain is about this belief. I first encountered Johnny Cash’s version of this song on his first album he did with producer Rick Rubin, Unchained, which marked his comeback at the end of his life.



The voice in this song is a man in pain praying to Jesus. He knows that he has sinned but seeks comfort regardless. This is a man who is desperate. All his troubles and all his pains are coming back at this moment and all he wants is to not go through it alone. Deliberate and almost uncomfortably intense to listen to, this song expresses an honesty and sorrow that few songs dare approach.

Is this what believing in Jesus is really about? Not wanting to be alone in life?  I want to believe that in all my troubles we will never be alone.  It's a comforting thought but it's just that, a thought . . . but maybe that’s enough.  Maybe we never really know what we believe because it’s too closely tied to what we want.

Most of the pain humans inject on each other are a manifestations of feeling lonely and regret. Calling to Jesus is an expression of a belief that someone is always out there and this idea of companionship may be the most powerful solution to our world's troubles. 

In this way, music is religion for me. It reminds me other people are out there, feeling the same emotions that I am and through music I know that whatever challenges I go through in life are shared with others.

Darkness doesn’t ties us together, rather it is what binds.

The need to be with others and seek companionship during pangs of loneliness are what binds us because.  In these moments we realize the strength that we find in ourselves, each other, Jesus or whatever force that fills your heart with faith. Faith that the sun will rise up tomorrow and that nothing is more powerful in the world than love.

That is what I know I believe.

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