Monday, October 06, 2008

now playing: steve's hammer

this is why i love music so much. driving home from a meeting tonight, i had what you would have to call a religious experience, while listening to this song. i was moved to tears, driving home in the dark. sometimes, as a pastor, working in the minutia of ministry, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. after a meeting of budget and batteries, schedules and styles, i just heard this song coming out of my ipod, and i lost it.

its by steve earle, a singer songwriter who has always been a bit of a prophet and a modern day john the baptist. but just hearing him sing these words in his signature draw drew me right to the core of why i do what i do: a vision of the kingdom. you can hear the song above. here's the words:


Steve's Hammer (For Pete)
One of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down
And I won’t have to drag this weight around
When there ain’t no hunger
And there ain’t no pain
Then I won’t have to swing this thing
One of these day I’m gonna lay this hammer down

One of these nights I’m gonna sing a different tune
All night long beneath the silvery moon
When the war is over
And the union’s strong
Won’t sing no more angry songs
One of these nights I’m gonna sing a different tune

Someday when my struggle’s through
I won’t have to strive
Until then all I can do
Is let my hammer fly

One of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down
Leave my burden restin’ on the ground
When the air don’t choke ya and the ocean’s clean
And kids don’t die for gasoline
One of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down

John Henry was a mighty man
Worked his whole life long
When he made that hammer ring
He always sang this song

One of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down
And I won’t have to drag this weight around
When there ain’t no hunger
And there ain’t no pain
Then I won’t have to swing this thing
One of these day I’m gonna lay this hammer down

Yeah, one of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down
...
when he says that there won't be any more hunger or pain, i have a vision of the kingdom of God the way i envision it when i pray things like, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." that that kingdom would come, that's why i go to meetings. that's why i deal with the details. that's why i'm in ministry.

still swinging the hammer,
greg.
ps. you may hate this song, either for the music ("oh, it sounds too country") or for the lyrics ("he just sounds like another left-leaning lunatic"). but that doesn't really matter to me. it was MY religious experience. and it was good. peace.

3 comments:

Crafty P said...

i couldn't get past minutia. gosh, i just love that word. I guess I'll have to come back later...

Anonymous said...

no such thing as too country. what a great song, what a great message. come lord jesus. julid

Justin said...

One of the first songs I learned on guitar was a Steve Earle tune called Leroys Dust Bowl Blues. 'When your kids are cold and hungry wearing worn out shoes, we're standing in the garden with the dustbowl blues".
Good songs make us sing, great songs make us think.