Leon Bridges’ River: An Invitation Into Truth

There was a time, not that long ago, in which I was pretty sure I was the crap. I mean, I was right about everything, knew better than everyone else, and was fairly invincible. At least, that was the lie I put out there about myself. I lived according to that lie. And even though my performance of that role may have been fairly convincing to some, if I was honest with myself, I knew it was a lie. Inwardly, I was a mess.

The older I get, the more I learn about God and myself, the more I embrace that mess. That doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with it. I just recognize it’s the truth. And I try not to pretend so much anymore. The truth is this: I am desperately in need of mercy.

I think that’s why Leon Bridges’ River speaks so deeply to me. In it, I hear a deep desperation. I hear a man coming to an understanding that he is extremely limited and faulty. That he is in need of mercy… of grace… of salvation. Hey Leon, me too. Thanks for sharing this beautiful song. I see it as an invitation for all of us to see ourselves in the protagonist’s story. To stand in his shoes. To recognize our own need.

 

Been traveling these wide roads for so long

My heart’s been far from you

Ten-thousand miles gone

 

Oh, I wanna come near and give ya

Every part of me

But there’s blood on my hands

And my lips aren’t clean

 

In my darkness I remember

Momma’s words reoccur to me

“Surrender to the good Lord

And he’ll wipe your slate clean”

 

Take me to your river

I wanna go

Oh, go on

Take me to your river

I wanna know

 

Tip me in your smooth waters

I go in

As a man with many crimes

Come up for air

As my sins flow down the Jordan

 

Oh, I wanna come near and give ya

Every part of me

But there’s blood on my hands

And my lips aren’t clean

 

Take me to your river

I wanna go

Go on,

Take me to your river

I wanna…

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