April 11, 2011

Here's The Thing: Just As I Am

When I was 13 I went to a Baptist church camp in Colorado. It’s where I heard in no uncertain terms and over and over, that I was a sinner. By the time the two week camp was over, if a camper wasn’t hip to the fact that he was a sinner and that the remedy for sin was Jesus, that person was NOT paying attention!   Just As I Am was the favored altar call song then. It was as if it took all 7 verses sung with piano accompaniment, repeated acapella, then hummed with every head bowed and every eye closed to "get the Spirit to move"!! I had been a marginally good girl for almost two weeks at camp, but on the way home we stopped at a diner and my guard was down. In that diner, there was a jukebox. I should have known to look the other way. I should have known to scoff at the worldly music and remember the Christian chorus I had learned.:

“Little by little every day
Little by little in every way
Jesus is changing me!
Since I made a turn about face
I’ve been walking in His grace
Jesus is changing me!”

Keep in mind that it had been a very short time “since I made a turn about face”. A little jukebox music after two weeks of programmed righteousness seemed like just the thing! I figured that after having forsaken Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin and even John Denver for that long, getting a fix from the jukebox would be fine. Yet, I almost didn’t get to ride the bus back home so great was my defilement in the eyes of the leaders! I was embarrassed at my lack of holiness and more, I was confused about how to stay holy once I was away from camp!
This little carved piece of wood is a memento from that camp.  I’ve kept it all these years as a reminder of where I have come from, the more-sanctified-than-me boy who carved my name and these verses:

Just as I am - without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - though toss'd about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come!


Zoanna said...

"All 7 verses" and "programmed righteousness" cracked me UP! I am so laughing out loud. Oh, I know exactly that drill. Forsaking John Denver? The carving is cute. Does it say "Laurie" or is it misspelled? I can't quite see it.

Pictures are gorgeous. Do you edit them, or is that all natural nature???:)

TAB said...

Beautiful. All of it. And I'm with Zoanna. Hilarious wording! Love it. It paints a vivid picture.

Laurie said...

Zo- Yep. It says "Laurie"! The "L" is stretched out to underline the "AURIE"!
About the photos: I edit them if needed! Oftentimes what I see is not what my camera captures, yet sometimes the natural lighting is just right! (I love that!)