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Saturday, October 4, 2014

I Believe in You - A Song to Confirm Myself

I know that Bob Dylan’s “Christian” albums from the late 70s and early 80s are not usually regarded as his best work.  There are some good songs scattered in there but, it’s hit or miss.  His songwriting seemed to falter somewhat in his religious fervor. In trying to be as forthright as he could about his conversion he lost some of the poetic sensitivity he’d displayed in earlier albums.  Further, the songs tended to be rather confrontational about his faith, almost as he was purposefully trying to offend and to drive away his those of his fans who couldn’t wrap their minds around his new faith. 

But even so, I have a fondness for the song “I Believe in You.”  It’s a modern day sort of Psalm, a prayer in song.  He’s not sneering at his detractors, but singing to God “I believe in you.” In spite of difficulties, in spite of insults, in spite of my enemies, I believe in you.

But the more I listen to it – and the more I sing it as my own song – I find that I am not singing this song so much to affirm my faith to God (who already knows) but rather to confirm my faith to myself.  I do believe and I will go on.

They ask me how I feel
and if my love is real
and how I know I’ll make it through.
And they, they look at me and frown,
they’d like to drive me from this town,
they don’t want me around
‘cause I believe in you.

They show me to the door,
they say don’t come back no more
‘cause I don’t be like they’d like me to,
and I walk out on my own
a thousand miles from home
but I don’t feel alone
‘cause I believe in you.

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Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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