There are few segments of audio retail more bastardized than Christian contemporary music. It’s like contemporary audio retail, but simpler, strung out and five years late. Blues from fishbowl memories.

And I mean, “strung out,” in the worst of ways.

And, at least, to me.

But take for example, Picture of Jesus, by Ben Harper

This is a song done by a man who’s done more drugs that most who’ll read this, probably more depressed than I’ve ever been and probably broke a few of the commandments since I started this post. But if you want to reach the depths of deepest, stillest waters, take a listen to the song:

In order to get something to grow, you have to get your hands into the mud. Otherwise you’ll never be able to fully empathize with the pains of the people who populate this planet.

Otherwise you’ll miss many of the beautiful things that have been planted along life’s way.

I’m refocusing my life. My doctor, my friends and my family have told me it’s time. And I still don’t know what’s right but you can bet that this song is one of those signposts along my way.

Here are the lyrics to Picture of Jesus. Tell me it isn’t beautiful, regardless of what creed you subscribe to. Do yourself a favor and learn from them.

Lyrics to Picture of Jesus by Ben Harper

“It hangs above my altar
Like they hung him from a cross
I keep one in my wallet
For the times I feel lost
In a wooden frame with splinters
Where my family kneels to pray
And if you listen close
You’ll hear the words he used to say
I’ve got a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers rest
We’ve got a picture of Jesus
And with him we shall be forever blessed

“Now it has been spoken
He would come again
But would we recognize
This King among men
There was a man in our time
His words shine bright like the sun
He tried to lift the masses
And was crucified by gun

“He was a picture of Jesus
With him so many prayers rest
He is a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers rest
With him we shall be forever blessed

“Some days have no beginning
And some days have no end
Some roads are straight and narrow
And some roads only bend
So let us say a prayer
For every living thing
Walking towards a light
From the cross of a king

“We long to be a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers rest
I long to be a picture of Jesus
With him we shall be forever blessed”

How deep do you think these still waters run?

(photo credit: Pete Simon via Flickr)

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