Hank Williams, Sr. once wrote:
‘You’ve never walked in that man’s shoes or saw things through his eyes Or stood and watched with helpless hands while the heart inside you dies. Some were poor some were kings and some were masters of the arts.But in their shame they’re all the same, these men with broken hearts. So help your brother along the road no matter where he starts. For the God that made you, made them too. These men with broken hearts!
Hank Williams may have written it, but it was Elvis who took these words to a whole new level.
For me brokenness and worship are intertwined. These places of brokenness bring us to the cross and push us towards resurrection. This is because ‘we do not raise ourselves; we are raised’ (Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. 2005:231).
I’m not sure why these particular words affect me the way they do. It’s probably because I understand, to some degree, the deep well from which these words are drawn.
In recognising that we are undone (Isaiah 6:5), the pride within us can no longer be an enemy to the gracious “Yes” of God, in Christ (Jn.15), which stands for us, and the shadow of His “no”, which exists for our sake. (Karl Barth/St. Francis of Assisi/ Lk.10:25).
May it be so.
Video: Elvis Presley, Lost ”that the way it is” (August, 1970 – Midnight show. Lyrics and song, Joe South
Poem: Hank Williams, ‘Men with broken hearts‘
Originally published, 27th May 2013.