Every once in a while I like me some country music. Maybe it’s my country girl roots, and the barn dances Uncle Lonney used to host when I was an adolescent. Or maybe it’s my storyteller bent, and the way the occasional song just says the thing the way I’d meant to say it. Or the way my husband’d say it, more like—
The first time Blue Eyed Girl came up on his Spotify playlist, Kyle claimed he’d play it at my funeral. (Then quickly realized what he’d said and retracted.) And the other night we laid in bed trying to remember the title of his favorite love-song, finally playing it from his iPhone as we drifted to sleep…
Last night, outta the blue
Driftin' off to the evening news
She said, "Honey, what would you do
If you'd have never met me?”
A day or so later I was thinking about that song, and the husband’s answer, and my own husband, too. And then, all of sudden, I found myself thinking about Peter. And Jesus.
It happens this way pretty often, these days. My mind wanders to the Bible’s story, and it hits me again how empty life would be without Him. Kind of like that country husband…
C'mon on girl, seriously
If I hadn't been so lucky, I'd be
Shootin' pool in my bachelor pad
Playin' bass in my cover band
Restockin' up cold Bud Light
For poker every Tuesday night, yeah
I'd have a dirt bike in the shed
And not one throw pillow on the bed
I'd keep my cash in a coffee can
But if I was a single man
Alone and out there on the loose
Well I'd be lookin' for a woman like you…
And isn’t this sort of what Peter was saying that time Jesus was asking his disciples if they wanted to bail? Not to be irreverent, but
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69)
To whom shall we go??!
I don’t know about you, but I for sure haven’t found a better Holy One, or a better story.
Recently I’ve been reading a memoir by a Muslim woman. My blood was at full boil last weekend as I recounted the details to Kyle and I can tell you one thing for sure. There are some men…and some stories…I could wholeheartedly hate. (And I’m counting my blessings on both accounts.)
Some people have bailed on religion altogether, because of such stories. And who could blame them? But as I think about people I know who have seen the flaws in so-called religion, saying no-thank-you and good-riddance, I can’t help but wonder if they’d change their mind if they were introduced again to this one I know as Jesus.
To whom else would I go?
And this, too—
I’d rather have Jesus than no-one.
Sometimes I try to imagine my life without Him and the image it creates is sadder than a country breakup song.
I’d be a lyin’ miserable narcissist
And a thin-skinned coward to boot
Still knockin’ myself out tryin’ to perfect this thing on my own
Or something like that.
The more stories I hear about religion without Jesus—and non-religion, too—the more I find myself agreeing with Peter. “You have the words of eternal life!” And this. To be clear. Is not eternal as in someday, but eternal as in the whole kit-and-caboodle now and forevermore. Jesus not only has the words, but He is THE WORD, which is to say He is the STORY.
He is MY story.
And to whom in all this messed up world would I rather go?