Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love. – Psalm 51
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner – the Jesus prayer.
Oh fix me
Fix me for my starry crown
Fix me for my long white robe
Fix me for my dyin’ day
Fix me for my journey home
Prayer is one of those things where I feel like we make it more complicated than it actually needs to be. We come with long lists or we use flowery language. We tell God what he already knows. At the end of the day, though, if we believe that God knows what is in our hearts, we don’t need to come to God with a sales pitch, we just need to tell it like it is. For me, most of the time, that prayer could be this simple: I’m screwed up, please fix me.
That is part of what this traditional spiritual is getting at but it’s also a lovely play on words. “Fix” can refer to repairing something that’s broken but it can also refer to preparing for something to come, a journey to a better place.
You may know Bobby McFerrin from his “Don’t worry, be happy” recording but he is so, so much more than this. Bobby’s whole body is his instrument and a brief cruise through youtube will show you what I mean. What you might not know is that Bobby is also a man of deep faith.
“I couldn’t do anything without faith,” he says. “I couldn’t open up my eyes, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t sing.”
What I learned as I dug around for info on this song is that Bobby’s dad was an opera singer. I know, right? This song appeared on the senior’s McFerrin’s 1957 recording Deep River but it’s nothing like what Bobby does with it on his album spirityouall – an album I highly recommend.
Daniel takes the lead on this one at Good Friday Blues and does a great job with it. This is one of two songs we’ll hear as we prepare for our own time of prayer at the service. Our tradition is to have folks write down their prayer concerns on little slips of blue paper and then nail those to the cross. In the second half of the service we’ll take time to pray, that God would fix us, fix what we’ve nailed to that cross. The symbolism if powerful.
What burden will you nail to the cross when you come?