Would They Love Him Down In Shreveport Today ?

I’ve been in a few conversations in the last week or so, where the old saying “why are there more people that don’t claim to be Christian and act in the image of Christ than those that claim to be Christian and don’t act like it”. That’s been going on forever and when I look at my life I am as guilty as the next person. Things I aspouse not to do, I end up doing. It’s in thought as well as word or deed. Today’s message ended up with a reminder for us to “love with His hands and see with His eyes”, to not laugh at the joke you know isn’t right,and to be intentional about your faith or following of those words written in red. Whatever your choice of faith, I would think it would call you to be better everyday, to listen deeper, open your heart wider, and understand we are all trying to navigate the best we can. To build a bridge and not a wall, to pocket a stone, not throw it.

Many moons ago, the Oak Ridge Boys had a hit on one of my favorite songs. Written by fellow Floridian Bobby Braddock, “Would they Love Him Down In Shreveport Today” speaks to this perfectly. Have we built the image of Christ so much after ourselves that we wouldn’t recognize him if he came walking down the street? I’ll leave you with that great lyric. Happy Easter Brothers and Sisters !

If they saw Him riding in, long hair flying in the wind,
Would they love Him down in Shreveport today?
If they heard He was a Jew and a Palestinian too,
Would they love Him down in Nashville today?

If they saw Him talk with ease to the junkies, whores, and thieves,
Would they love Him out in Wichita today?
Would the rich men think it funny if He said give up your money?
Would they love Him up on Wall Street today?

If He made the wine from water, gave it to their sons and daughters,
What would the folks in Salt Lake City say?
If He talked of brotherhood as he walked their neighborhoods,
Would they love Him up in Boston today?

If He said love those who use you, and forgive those who abuse you,
If He turned the other cheek, what would you say?
Would you laugh and call Him crazy, and just send Him on his way,
If Jesus came to your town today?…




Acummulation or Appreciation

The year is 1980, I am living with my Grandparents on “M” st in Pensacola. Anyone that has ever lived with their Grandparents at 20 years old certainly understands the need for privacy. The front room was mine and my records were my best and closest friends. I spent so many late night hours listening and re listening to my favorite records of the time. I knew them inside and out, every song and every yell from the crowd on a “live” record. At the time I was working in a record store called the “Record Bar”. It was the musical education of a lifetime. My late nights took me through the likes of  Michael Franks, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Willie Nelson and Tom Petty ! I played those records over and over. But the point is that I was sitting still when I was listening. Listening is what I was doing, not something else with music in the background. Big difference.

My friendd Walt Wlikins told me one time he and his wife would lay on their bed late at night, lights out and listened to Jackson Browne records. Just being in the moment.

Last night my wife and I sat on our couch for 2 hours, lights off and candles on, listening to our music. We didn’t hop up to change a song and we didn’t talk much. We listened. Every turn of the phrase, every beautiful bass inflection, every piano note. Perhaps music is meant to be listened to in the way we would watch a movie. The music is the entertainment, the focus, not something to have on when we are doing other things. Not that we can’t use it for that but the true and richest experience comes from the slow down, from the total immersion of yourself into each bar of music. Let it wash over you, it is wonderful.

It was one of the best nights we’ve had together in a long time. Just she and I, our music, mine and hers, memories, and the beauty of spending time together with an art form we love so much.

Maybe we have accumulated so much music and that added to our multi tasking lives really makes it harder to enjoy what we have. Last night we listened to twenty or thirty of our favorites out of the ten thousand songs on my ipod. but we listened quietly and found an even deeper connection with each other and the music we were sharing. For me the accumulation came at a price of appreciation, but the small movement of the scales last night was worth every drop. We can’t do this all the time but if and when you can with someone or by yourself I urge you to do so. It can be a very spiritual experience. Happy Listening !