Balm in Gilead
Today is the anniversary of the deaths of two country music greats: Tammy Wynette (1942-1998) and Merle Haggard (1937-2016). They died on the same day but 18 years apart. Weird.
Here they are singing “Today I Started Lovin’ You Again”–a classic song of regret and unrequited love written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens in 1968.
In case you were wondering–(as I did)–“He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today,” which has been named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time, was released twelve years after “Today I Started Lovin’ You Again.” So it was Merle who started that ball rolling.
And if you weren’t wondering, you can still toast them tonight.
In other news, I went to see the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church at Graham Chapel on the campus of my flyover university the other evening.
He was introduced by our Provost (an Episcopalian!) and by our former senator/Episcopal priest who endowed the Center for Religion and Politics which sponsored the talk. Bishop Curry gave a rousing sermon (he was invited to speak on “Healing a House Divided”) and, through the old-timey and very effective method of repetition, had everyone in the packed chapel saying with him, If you cannot sing like angels, If you can’t preach like Paul, You can tell the love of Jesus, And say He died for all.
When he started singing at the end, everyone joined right in with him: There is a balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole; There is a balm in Gilead, To heal the sin-sick soul.
…Not something I have ever experienced at this flyover university.
He made his point–that only through the love of JESUS will the divisiveness in this country be healed. Amen, brother. Maybe there is hope for the Episcopal Church.