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August 30, 2009

An invitation and an argument

Last week, while driving through central New York, I saw two signs with calls to be Christian but totally different approaches.

The first, painted on a farm stand sign along Route 20, read:

Jesus loves you. Love him back.

I kept reflecting on that for the rest of the drive out.

Maybe it prepared me for the writing on the back window of a truck I saw parked at a Thruway rest area on the way back:

God said it
That settles it
You better believe it!

That made for a different kind of reflection.

August 24, 2009

The Velvet hymn

Hymns, even new hymns, crop up in the strangest places. One of my favorites, a simple repeating verse, is:

Jesus, help me find my proper place
Jesus, help me find my proper place
Help me in my weakness
'Cos I'm falling out of grace

If you'd like to hear it, it's here on YouTube. I often hear it in my mind during meeting, a refrain that helps me settle.

Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground seem an unlikely source for this meditative piece, though the album it was on, also called The Velvet Underground, is definitely calmer than its predecessors. But still, this comes right after "Pale Blue Eyes", with "the fact that you are married only proves your my best friend" and "Some Kind of Love", which has always left me wondering what's going on with "put jelly on your shoulder baby."

Song meanings has speculation about what this mean, but I've yet to find a real telling of how this came to be. Even if it's connected, say, to coming down from heroin, it stays simple enough to have much broader meaning.

In one of the stranger culture mashups I've encountered, someone's even created a video for this with clips from The Passion of the Christ. I guess it makes sense to people who don't know anything about this band, or perhaps far too much about this band.