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Monday, September 9, 2013

Meditation from the Post Office

Life is hard, there's no two ways around it. And we all make life harder for ourselves by our sins. That came home to me this morning at the post office of all places. I wanted to buy the sweet flower stamps, but they were all out. So I asked for the car stamps...all out too. But they did have the Johnny Cash stamps so I bought them. On the way home I was thinking about Cash's sad and troubled life. So many artistically talented men and women seem to struggle with demons. Many like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley end up addicted to drugs and alcohol. But they also seem to have a particular longing for the spiritual. According to the Wiki entry on Cash:
Cash, a troubled but devout Christian, has been characterized as a "lens through which to view American contradictions and challenges." A biblical scholar, he penned a Christian novel titled Man in White; in its introduction Cash writes about a reporter who, interested in Cash's religious beliefs, questions whether the book is written from a Baptist, Catholic, or Jewish perspective. Cash denies an answer to the book's view and his own, and replies, "I'm a Christian. Don't put me in another box." and he made a spoken word recording of the entire New King James Version of the New Testament. Even so, Cash declared that he was "the biggest sinner of them all", and viewed himself overall as a complicated and contradictory man. Accordingly, Cash is said to have "contained multitudes," and has been deemed "the philosopher-prince of American country music"....His diversity was evidenced by his presence in three major music halls of fame: the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1977), the Country Music Hall of Fame (1980), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992). Only thirteen performers are in both of the last two, and only Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, and Bill Monroe share the honor with Cash of being in all three. However, only Cash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the regular manner, unlike the other country members, who were inducted as "early influences."
Another portion of Wiki's entry describes his interest in Gospel music:
Cash's early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught by his mother and a childhood friend, Cash began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of twelve. When Cash was young, he had a high tenor voice. In high school he sang on a local radio station; decades later he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother's Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music that he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.
Johnny Cash was a complex and fallible human being like all of us. I hope you'll pray for him today. I am and I'm asking Blessed Jacinta who had such a love for "poor sinners" to join me.

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