He Loves me Not

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me

The Bible tells me so

Written by Anna Bartlett Warner in the year 1859, Jesus Loves Me is a song memorized and sung by children and adults all around the world. This is one of the first church songs we learned in Sunday school, and it remained a classic in church during our singing nights.
My church sang a’ Capella, meaning, the piano was forbidden. There were no instruments. Your drum set? Might as well light it on fire, you demon child. This ain’t your stage.

But even despite having a musically talented family, I never gave our old church custom a second thought. I love, love, love to sing. My voice was my only instrument I ever mastered. Clarinet, drums, guitar, piano, harmonica, steel guitar, banjo, etc. were all instruments I played around with throughout my life, but never mastered.

Singing came very naturally to me. My mom sings and hums all the time. My dad enjoys singing, and sings back up any time he plays drums at a gig. He leads singing for his congregation still to this day. I think I’ve mentioned my love of singing before, but if you’re new here…

Hi. I like to sing.

Besides Jesus Loves Me, I also learned songs outside the church building. A lot of them were written by Eddie Vedder or Geddy Lee or Bono or Annie Lennox or Freddie Mercury, and so on. Most of the songs we sang as children had real truth and meaning in the poetry, religious or not.

There is an adhesive layer that sticks to your soul and makes you feel warm and secure. You are definitely a part of this collective mass, and you belong. Until someone brakes the pedal and plucks the petal and you find the pain underneath.

He loves me not.

The word “love” is only mentioned 13 times in red text printed within the Bible. Thirteen is my favorite number, for seemingly no reason other than it just always has been and it is often seen as an unlucky number, and I seem to be an unlucky person.

When you’re unlucky and things usually feel as though they don’t go your way- or for one reason or another, you feel that no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through the wall- sometimes it can make you feel as though there is no hope. No love.

No point.

A lot of people feel this way. Whether you have lost something or someone you hold dear to you, your relationships have failed, people have stabbed you in the back, people have lied to you (and about you), your friends have moved away, you’ve been abandoned by people who you look up to, you watch your heroes fall, you witness people you love destroying themselves, you’ve been picked on, harassed, assaulted, manipulated, whatever. Yeah, it’s a lot to overcome. It’s tough.

There is a t-shirt I used to print for hours on end for Zulily and the like while working for a company owned by very greedy, perverted assholes. The shirt said, “Life is tough darling, but so are you”. I’d examined the letters and the print for days. Inhaling toxic fumes, sweating in 110 degree heat. No ventilation. No break. My spine bending ’til it broke, over and over, arms raising up and down, for hours on end. Loading the tee, pushing the buttons, carefully transferring the tee to the heater’s conveyer belt. Repeat fourteen hundred times.

It’s tough. But so are you.

One of my good friends worked for these assholes who mistreat, abuse, con, and manipulate people on a regular basis, and he eventually took his own life. He was only 26 years old. He was a good person. He told me I had beautiful eyes.

Today, I had an experience that made me question humanity.

Tonight, I had my windows rolled down, and a song I love to sing randomly began playing. Light Up Ahead by Further Seems Forever. Jon Bunch wrote this beautiful song, so full of hope and love. Google Jon Bunch.

Dear God, can you hear me?

I was raised believing that some kind of Almighty, all knowing, all loving Creator had my back, always and forever. This may still be the case. There are days I feel it. There are days I don’t. Like plucking the petals… he loves me, he loves me not.

Why does it always have to feel hot or cold? Why can’t I just enjoy a mild moment in and outside of my mind for once?

Jesus Loves Me, this I know.
I am weak, He is strong.

What do I believe?

Ed Vedder wrote a poem, (or five billion), that goes:

Hold on to the thread
The currents will shift, glide me towards
You know something’s left
And we’re all allowed to dream of the next
The next, time we touch
You don’t have to stray the oceans away
Waves roll in my thoughts
Hold tight the ring
The sea will rise
Please stand by the shore
Oh, I will be
I will be there once more

Sometimes in my mind and body, I feel like I’ve been fighting against waves for so long. I’ve been floating on the currents to try to just relax or catch my breath, only to drift further out to sea. Sometimes I feel I’ve isolated so much and for so long, I have forgotten where home is. Did I even have one in the first place?

Am I loved always and forever, Almighty God? Where are you? I can’t see you in this place.

They’re just plucking petals all day, saying he loves me, he loves me not.

I just want to sing with the ocean. His eyes are like the ocean.

FURTHER reading:

https://www.washedupemo.com/jonbunchforever