“I heard Jesus He drank wine
And I bet we’d get along just fine
He could calm the storm and heal the blind
And I bet he’d understand a heart like mine”
When a popular song mentions the name of Jesus, my ears tend to perk up a little. There are so many misconceptions about who Jesus is and what Jesus is about, that I always fear the worst. And while I am by no means anywhere close to the final authority on all things Jesus and all things Christian, when I heard Miranda Lambert’s Heart Like Mine a few months back, I still listened carefully.
[If you’re not a fan of a ‘twangy country music voice, you may not like the song. So you can find the lyrics here ]
What I love about this song is that she points out something Christians and non-Christians do often overlook. Jesus is not just some figure in the paintings on our walls or in our Churches. He was (and is) a real person—a real human being. This means that He laughed. It also means He felt pain. And since He happens to also be God, the Creator of everything including us, He knows us better than we know ourselves. So He knows our pain, our joys, and our sufferings—deeper than we do.
Jesus loves us with a perfect and lasting love. As my theology professor puts it, Jesus loves us just the way we are…but He loves us too much to let us stay that way. And I think that this is where Heart Like Mine perhaps falls just a bit short on proclaiming the name of Jesus.
We’re never supposed to justify our less-than-awesome behavior by simply saying, “Jesus loves me no matter what I do.” Of course He does, which is why He feels pain when we do things that cause us, or those around us, pain (and that’s all sin is). He loves us so much that His desire is for us to be happy—only He doesn’t just mean, “feel good in the moment” happy. No, we’re worth more than that to Him. He won’t be satisfied until we are living a life that leads us to real, authentic, and lasting happiness. And He knows that we can’t do that without obeying the Commandments, and living our lives like He lived His.
When I listen to this song, I hear a woman who has felt pain in her life, and I love that because I, like anyone, can relate to it. And instead of pretending like everything is fine and dandy, she points to the one person she knows can understand her heart better than anyone else. Despite my little quibbles with this song, above all, Jesus is represented as someone of hope, friendship, and even joy. So, I guess I’m pretty okay with the use of His name in this song.