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Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

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Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Ms. Lambert, Jesus, and Me.

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I ain’t the kind you take home to mama
I ain’t the kind to wear no ring
Somehow I always get stronger
When I’m on my second drink

Even though I hate to admit it
Sometimes I smoke cigarettes
Christian folks say I should quit it
I just smile and say “God bless”

‘Cause I heard Jesus, He drank wine
And I bet we’d get along just fine
He could calm a storm and heal the blind
And I bet He’d understand a heart like mine

Daddy cried when he saw my tattoo
Said he’d love me anyway
My brother got the brains of the family
So I thought I’d learn to sing

‘Cause I heard Jesus, He drank wine
And I bet we’d get along just fine
He could calm a storm and heal the blind
And I bet He’d understand a heart like mine

I’ll fly away
From it all one day
I’ll fly away

These are the days that I will remember
When my name’s called on the roll
He’ll meet me with two long-stemmed glasses
Make a toast to me coming home

I heard this song on the radio the other day, one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, being a recent convert to country music through my second marriage.  I love the words in this song, pure poetry, one of my many passions having had the opportunity to have two of my poems published through the years. This beautiful song by Ms. Lambert sums up Jesus, his life, his ministry, and his calling in my humble opinion.   She paints a Savior who understands us exactly where we are, meets us precisely in that spot, whether it’s a good, bad, ugly, or fantastically sunny spot, and in meeting us where we are he not only understands a “heart like mine (and yours),” but he immediately begins his transforming work in our hearts, even in all of the murkiness, discord, and messiness.    

The Christian community habitually has this unhealthy tendency to get obsessively caught up in the dos and don’ts of religion, an Old Testament type of admonishment, and the church in particular is often notorious for this finger pointing can do or cannot do attitude. As Christians this list of do’s and don’ts is not only a guilt ensuing ride for many, but it often hinders our ability to be transparent Christ followers because we’re so hung up on what the list says.  The list, which can differ slightly through denominational barriers but generally reads along these lines: no drinking, smoking, tattoing, gossiping, cussing, slandering, some of what Ms. Lambert talks about, along with the big ones, murder, adultery, and stealing to name a few and in contrast, DO pretend like you always have it all together with a good boy smile on your lips, declaring that everything is fantastic because you’re a Christian and you are blessed even if everything is so far from fantastic and you’re secretly swigging vodka from the freezer in the middle of the afternoon and watching porn under a hidden veil of darkness after everyone has gone to bed because your wife detests the very sight of you.  
 
The beauty of this song speaks not to the do not’s that Christians are so often racked with guilt about but instead to the truth of what Jesus Christ was actually after when he came to earth to do his redeeming work in mankind.  He understood our shortcomings, he was over the perfect persona of his generation, and he adamantly voiced this disapproval towards the Pharisees and those who sought to point their fingers at those they deemed worthy of the term “sinner.”  My goodness, this man, the Savior of the world, liked to stir things up, he enjoyed going against the grain and healed people on Sundays and associated himself with sluts and tax collectors, and heck, he liked a great party with a good wine (John 2: 1-11).  Think about it, Christ’s first miracle was turning water into wine – real wine.  Would most church goers of today be able to handle that?  The whole wine, fun, party aspect of it all? What if there was dancing at this wedding? What if Jesus was dancing?   What if Jesus had asked us to dance?  Would we have told him just how unholy that was?  Or what if he had handed us a glass of the wine he had just miraculously created?   Or maybe the town prostitute approaches us at this party, would we turn our heads because we don’t associate with “people like her”?  I wonder how differently grace and mercy would look if Jesus had the same attitude as many of us?  Could grace even exist in that sort of environment?   Just what if the world started to see Christ in us when we stepped down from our spiritual pedestals and lived life more fully, more honestly, openly admitting that we are murky, messy people who screw up repeatedly, drink wine, and dance in exuberant thankfulness for the blessing of this thing called life that we’ve been given? What if people saw our lives, full of sparkle, joy, gusto, wine and dancing and they were attracted to what we had, like a moth to a flame, a holy flame of grace, mercy, and life?    What if we became  light in the darkness by not acting perfect?  What if we all embraced the truth that Jesus would and could “understand a heart just like mine?”
Just keep livin!!
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