Archives For Hank Williams

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, 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.

Did I tell you?

I came from a broken place.
Desolate and bleak
A place where manipulation reinforced false-truths and accusation.
There was no room for criticism.

There was only silence.
Bewilderment. Loss.
A place where disagreement was viewed as disloyalty.

Here, there was no room for joy or achievement
There was only the residue of condemnation and guilt.
Ignored, insecure and isolated
Conditioned to think I was worthless.
There was no room for strength
There was no room for identity
There could only be submission.

Did I tell you?

I came from a broken place.
Crushed. I self-medicated, de-humanized myself, abused the carers and exhausted my lack of potential. Unware? No, I just didn’t care.
There was no room for encouragement or excitement.
Only empty promises, let-downs and self-justification.
My defence? Vile words. Rebellion.
There was no room for peace and adventure
There was only conflict and fear.

But.

I was found.

Given the choice of faith. Two hands reached down, offered to take these pieces of my broken heart, and put them back together. Never to let go as if my life is like a  cherished heirloom.

As I was moved towards sanctuary. I found room for deliverance, healing and forgiveness.
Here there was room for wholeness; a movement away from rage and blame.

I am grateful.

Before me stands the cross, beside me stands the Saviour.