Friday, January 20, 2012

The Gospel according to Etta

Jamesetta Hawkins: a.k.a. Etta Jame, Miss Peaches, the Matriarch of R & B. (1938-2012)

Last Sunday, Pastor Scott challenged all of us to try reading a chapter from the book of Proverbs each day. So this afternoon before work I was perusing through chapter 3. I've been using "The Message" bible version recently, and so far I thoroughly enjoy the earthy quality that this translation has to it.

Any-hoo, so I'm driving to work with one of my favorite stations on, and they announced that the Rhythm & Blues singer, Etta James had just passed away. I can't say that I was a huge fan, nor did I know a great deal about her. I will confess that I have always had a weakness for her song, "At last," for some reason that I think goes back to first hearing it in a cartoon or spoof. But that was about the extent of my knowledge.

In tribute to Etta, the station played a song by her that I was unfamiliar with. I liked it immediately. However, what really hooked me after about 30 seconds was that the lyrics matched extremely well with a portion of Proverbs that I had read only 30 minutes prior.


Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen to God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume you know it all.
Run to God! Run from Evil.
Prov. 3:3-9

And now for the lyrics...

"Trust in me in all you do.
Have the faith I have in you.
Love will see us through, if only you trust in me.
Why don't you, you trust in me?
Come to me when things go wrong.
Cling to me, Daddy, and I'll be strong.
We can get along, we can get along, if only you trust in me"

And now for Etta...

It's funny to me, because both of them really do express all that YHWH is asking us for; Trust. I've heard people criticize christianity because you have to recognize that you are a sinner, and should repent of that. Some will say that this means you have to go around thinking that you are a bad, bad, naughty person, and therefor this promotes low self-esteem and what have you. However, to my mind it is more of an embrace of reality.

I am far from perfect. Somedays, I am in a galaxy far, far away from perfect. ("Oh Lawdy! Preach it now!") But that really isn't where it begins or ends for me on this thought, that is merely one portion of it all. When I think about trusting God, it is more of a recognition that I really do not have much in the way of answers to a good many things, but that he DOES. So, if I am often clueless, but he knows what's what...why shouldn't I and place my trust in YHWH? Again, to me it is simply an embrace of reality, albeit one my sinful natures hates to acknowledge. Still...

So, should I write a doctoral thesis in theology based on this musical coincidence? Probably not. Still, I did find it a helpful tonic to have in my head right before work.

Hey, some people find biblical significance in visual arts. I find quite a bit of it in music. (Now if only Neil Young would do a version of that song.)

Who says that the God of the bible doesn't have a sense of humor? (Wait. Don't answer that. I probably wouldn't care about their opinion anyway.)

Nighty night.


P.S. And now a little something for those who are with their "Special Someone" this evening. (In my case, that would be my dog.)

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