Johnny Cash and The Song of Songs

Recently Derek and I re-watched the 2005 movie Walk The Line – starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in the true story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.  It’s an old favourite of ours and full of wonderful songs that we love.

In the story of the movie, Johnny was besotted with June from the second he laid eyes on her.  After then, he only had eyes for her and he continually pursued her. He was never going to give up until she finally said yes to marrying him. Johnny Cash’ life was messy and the romance between the two was also messy to start with before they finally got it together and the rest is a pleasant history.

The morning after watching the movie, my darling husband had woken with one of the songs they sang together in his heart. The song is called “It Ain’t Me, Babe” although Derek had a sense of new words for the song. In the movie Derek had ‘seen’ that despite all the portrayed mess and brokenness of Johnny Cash’ life and his relationship with June, there was a beautiful love story and through it the Lord was revealing His very own relentless love and pursuit of His own Bride, the Church.  My darling man was deeply touched by this shadow/type of the Lord’s love for His Church. (Isn’t that just like the Lord, to make something beautiful out of something broken?)

So we sat down together and changed some of the words to reflect the Reality, the Truest Lover pursuing His Beloved. After doing this, we noticed that the words now reflected in some small way, the call of the Lord to the Church found in The Song of Songs where the King calls His lover to come out from behind the lattice, to go with Him, that He is the One she is looking for. He even brings her flowers.

“Listen! My beloved! Behold, he is coming, Climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice. My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along…The flowers have already appeared in the land….the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land…Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!…(Song of Songs 2:8-13)

I must arise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares I must seek him who my soul loves….Have you seen him whom my soul loves?…I held on to him and would not let him go…(Song of Songs 3:2-4)

I searched for him but I did not find him, I called him but he did not answer me…I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, as to what you will tell him: For I am lovesick”..(Song of songs 5:6b-8)

We decided to record ourselves singing these new words to a backing track we found on the web, to send it to some saints and well, I feel to post it here along with the lyrics the Lord gave us. There is no image on the music player so you can read the lyrics while listening.

” It Is Me Church”
It Ain’t Me Babe (original Song Title)
Johnny Cash and June Carter
(Written and first recorded by Bob Dylan)

Come away from your window.
Leave it with all due speed
I am the one you want, babe
I am the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Who will never do you wrong
Someone to open each and every door

Yes it is You, Lord
Yes, yes, yes it is You, Lord
It is You were looking’ for, Lord

Come lightly from the ledge, Love.
Go lightly on the ground
I am the one you want, Love
I’ll never let you down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
To pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
And to come each time you call
And will love you for your life forever more

Well it is Me, Love
Yes, yes, yes it is Me, Love
It is Me you’re lookin’ for, Love

You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’ll promise to never part
Someone to gaze your eyes upon
Someone to share His heart
Someone to die for you forever more

Yes it is Me, Church
Yes, yes, yes it is Me, Church
I’m the Life you’re lookin’ for, Church

Disclaimer

The original song was written by Bob Dylan and appeared on his fourth album in 1964.  We claim no ownership to the song and will not be professionally recording our version 😄

 

 

Death Becomes Her

In the early 1990’s there was a film called ‘Death Becomes Her’. It starred Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Basically, it was about a woman who took a potion to keep her looking young but it actually meant she lived forever even after being killed and while her body decomposed.  The title of this old movie came to my mind during the week reflecting on the life that the Lord has called us to as believers.

As believers into Christ Jesus, we were crucified with Christ and buried with Him. Christ rose from the grave and we are now only alive in Him. It is now no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us. We have been crucified to this world. No longer “I” but “Him”. This death that we have entered into by way of faith in Christ Jesus as Son of God has made us beautiful in God’s sight.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16)

In the Song of Songs we see how Christ our King (represented in King Solomon) speaks of His death and resurrection in chapter 4 verse 6;

Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh (death) and to the hill of incense (resurrection).

He then tells His Beloved (us) that there is no flaw in her. In other words, through His death and resurrection, we have become flawless in His eyes. She was/we were always beautiful to Him but now through His death she/we have become flawless!

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

His death and resurrection has done it all and the church is brought forth as His bride. It is at that point that He addresses her as His bride in verse 8 & 9;

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride…You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride…

As she begins to know Him and express Him, she ministers to Him. And then in Chapter 5 verse 5, she experiences the cross;

I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock…

This cross-like experience leads her into a time of searching for Him desperately because she has come to see who He is and how she loves and longs for Him more than life itself.  In Chapter 6 & verse 5 we read how she has been transformed through the experience of the cross in her life and in her pursuit of Him above all else.  As a result of this transformation the King says these words to her;

Turn your eyes from me, they overwhelm me…

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

Death becomes us, saints. Our death in Christ and His resurrection Life in us, and our daily taking up of our cross, makes us beautiful in His sight.

How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights! (Song of Songs 7:6)