• Jesse Smith

It's A Big Old Goofy World


I grew up on the sound of that Folk Americana genre that he helped to create. And even though he started performing the decade before I was born (in the 1970’s), John Prine’s music was able to span across generations.


My mom and dad introduced our family to the unique, meaningful and often humorous lyrics of John Prine. It was always a part of our soundtrack at family cookouts. And after my grandfather passed away, we would often listen to Prine’s music in the background as we reminisced and retold stories at family gatherings. And later, during my years in the military, I would often play his music in the barracks whenever I felt a bit homesick and wanted to mentally teleport for just a little while.


Yesterday, I learned that John Prine tested positive for Covid-19 and that he is currently in an intensive care unit. I know this may seem dramatic, but it grieves me to think about how something so small could ravage the body of a man who has been a giant in my eyes.


The invisible virus that is wreaking havoc in the lives of those we love and many others we will never meet has exposed us to the reality that we are all more vulnerable than we would like to admit.


And while few of us are artists in the traditional sense of the word, we all have the ability to create something that outlives us every day. We all have opportunities to create melodies with our lives that others will remember and sing along with for many years to come. We all have the ability to sing songs with our lives that remind people of home. And God has given us the power to live for things that no grave is strong enough to contain.


As I reflect on all that the Coronavirus has taken from the world during this season of Lent, I can confidently say that there are just some things that disease, illness and death can never take. They can only take so much -- and no more.


You cannot take our faith, our hope and our love. Though our faith may be worn and our hope battered at times, we know that faith, hope and love are more contagious and communicable than any virus ever could be. And we will continue to sing their song in the midst of the painful and uncertain times we are living through.


And one day, the new world that Jesus promised will be fully realized. I join you in longing for that day, as a woman longs for a new baby through the pains of labor.


Breathe. Push.

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