Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Beast

The beast in me is caged by frail and fragile bars.
Johnny Cash

We watched "Walk the Line" years ago and were moved by the story and began to appreciate Johnny Cash more. Johnny Cash was one of those things that you take for granted growing up, assuming that they will always be there. Now he's not. Just when the world realized what a treasure we had, he left for heaven. His video of "Hurt" filmed in the months before he died was the most raw video I have ever seen. It was like seeing poetry, art, drama, and music pressed into one. Sitting like Solomon writing "all is vanity," Cash showed us just what "vanity" looked like.

He was a man who had horrendous flaws in his character. And he didn't excuse them away. His understanding led him to turn away from his strength - that frail and fragile strength - to search for something more than fame and success. He turned to faith in Jesus.

Funny thing was, he once had been a regular attender at church. It was easy. "You went every week, put in your time, and went home. But nothing changed. You still lived the same way during the week."

It wasn't until Johnny had almost lost it all and had contemplated taking his own life - that He and God "got back together."

"How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man."
Johnny Cash

Thank God that Johnny was able to have the time he needed to come home - to get off the fence and leave that chasm behind forever. There must be millions though who are still stuck there.

We saw a man dressed in black. And yet, inside him, was the Light.

Eugene Peterson's Message Bible gives us this version of an awesome piece of Scripture. Just a scrap, really. But as I sit here and think about my own walk with God- as I sit among tokens of both failure and success - I realize again just how far God had to reach to save me.

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 - The Message

Friends, it's never too late to let God take over. Incomparable power is there if you'll just let go, seek forgiveness, and turn toward God. For me, it was a life saver. It could be for you too.

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