Sunday, July 2, 2023

Spiritual Quote of the Day (Casie Dodd, on Johnny Cash and Her Faith Experience)

“Over time, [Johnny] Cash…came to speak to me on a deeper personal level. During this same period, I was working my way—with some reluctance—toward a Catholic conversion, officially forsaking my evangelical heritage. My religion was (and still is) a complicated part of my identity that I’ve struggled to reconcile with the various cracks in my humanity. In an interesting way, Johnny’s abiding faith in a Baptist tradition—one cut from the same cloth that I was trying to leave behind—helped me reconcile the parts worth holding on to with the tradition to which I felt called. There’s something in his voice that evokes a confidence mingled with humility: an awareness that he can be saved from anything despite everything that he may do to strain that grace. That sound—the timbre, the depth, the conviction—made a home in me. It gave me comfort as I listened to and sang the songs that testify to a love that hopes never to waver despite the knowledge that it will eventually. In that respect, ‘I Walk the Line’ became a sort of shorthand for ‘Amazing Grace’ that reminded me I could still love my family (and God) fully even as I seemed constantly to be failing both. The fevers that will come can still be washed away in the blood once more. I knew the biography behind those lyrics, and perhaps that intuitively made “Jackson” the natural follow-up for me; I nearly always experience one song alongside the other. I barely know any Catholics—at least on a level that would make talking about such things possible—but I know the wounds that cultivate that kind of voice. The brokenness. But he just kept singing, all the way to the end. He knew it was the only way to keep going.”—Essayist, book-review editor, and Belle Point Press founder Casie Dodd, “Johnny Cash, Pray for Me,” The Oxford American, Winter 2022

No comments: