To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers (Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of Welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah (Jesus walks with them)
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary
Cause we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don’t think
I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that’s the way I need Jesus
So I’m sat on the bus, minding my own business, iPod on shuffle as usual. And I’ve learned recently that when this happens, it means I’m about to learn something significant. Well this time around, Kanye West, Jesus Walks came on. I had forgotten that the song was there but it couldn’t have been more significant for me on this day.
It’s the day after the church shooting in Charleston, NC that took the lives of 9 African-Americans. I learned about it late last night but I don’t really think it registered for me. Yet this morning, when I heard about it again it hit me differently. I don’t get really emotional but this time was different.
As an African-American woman, my heart hurts for my nation and for the lives of the people who are affected by this tremendous tragedy. If there was ever a time that we needed Jesus, now would be it. How significant then, for this particular song to remind me the Jesus walks with me. He walks with my nation. He walks in and among the lives of the broken, the weary, and the marginalized. When we are weak, He is strong.
As I listened, the tears slowly came to my eyes as I listened to Kanye admit how much he needs Jesus in the face of oppression. His focus was not really to convert people or to be this statement of Christianity but to instead cry out to Jesus for how much he needs him. I think I cried because it can be easy to give up in the face of this awful situation. We need Jesus more and more in this time and that’s the only way we’ll make it through.
I think what also got me was the fact that this eloquent statement wasn’t coming from an artist who is incredibly culturally influential. He doesn’t make what we think of as ‘Christian music’ (I can’t stand that term and concept but we’re using it today.) yet here he is being incredibly vulnerable and real about how he needs Jesus. HE had the courage to be honest — even if it meant that it would reduce the amount of radio plays he got. I mean… Wow.
Even though this song is 11 years old, it still stands true. If anything, it means more now with the world being in the state that it is now. Who woulda thought that a 11 year old Kanye song could bring me close to tears?
Peace & Harmonies