"Years after his return to the land of the living, Cash once got a visit from U2 members Bono and Adam Clayton who were driving across the U.S., taking in the local colors. The three of them sat around a table before their meal, and Cash floored the two Irishmen with an incredible prayer of thanksgiving to God. Then, without skipping a beat, he raised his head and quipped, "Sure miss the drugs, though."
Johnny Cash was born 77 years ago today.
Here's a video overview from Mars Hill Church:
Some resources that may be of interest:
- The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash, by Dave Urbanski.
- Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation, by Rodney Clapp.
- Johnny Cash Reading the Complete New Testament: Collector's Edition.
- Man in White: A Novel about the Apostle Paul, by Johnny Cash.
And here's his final video, "Hurt":
Russell Moore is always worth reading, especially on his beloved Cash. Here's how he closed one essay:
Johnny Cash is dead, and there will never be another. But all around us there are empires of dirt, and billions of self-styled emperors marching toward judgment.
Perhaps if Christian churches modeled themselves more after Johnny Cash, and less after perky Christian celebrities such as Kathy Lee Gifford, we might find ourselves resonating more with the MTV generation. Maybe if we stopped trying to be “cool,” and stopped hiring youth ministers who are little more than goateed game-show hosts, we might find a way to connect with a generation that understands pain and death more than we think.
Perhaps if we paid more attention to the dark side of life, a dark side addressed in divine revelation, we might find ourselves appealing to men and women in black. We might connect with men and women who know what it’s like to feel like fugitives from justice, even if they’ve never been to jail. We might offer them an authentic warning about what will happen when the Man comes around.
And, as we do this, we just might hear somewhere up in the cloud of witnesses a voice that once cried in the wilderness: “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”