Just As I Am (A Steve Fisher Cover)

I get haunted by songs. I pity those who don’t. I have no idea how they make it through the day. The songs that stay with me, the earworms every morning, these get me through life.

Recently, I’ve been haunted by a song from my friend, Steve Fisher.

One night when I was at Kerrville this year, I journeyed up the hill with the express intent of finding Steve to say “hi.” I found him about where I thought….sitting outside with a few friends, in the middle of the RV row.

We got to hang out for a bit and sing some songs.

Along with everybody else in the Kerrville world, Steve knows I’m a minister. And so, at a certain point, he said, “Oh! I’ve got a song for you…”

And he played me his song, “Just As I Am.”

It’s an amazing song. Steve just might be our greatest living Texas songwriter. At least that’s my view.

And one of the things that makes his songs so great is that they’re deceptively simple. He doesn’t get too cute with the rhymes…just the right words, just the right amount of syllables, in just the right places.

This song, for example, is amazingly simple yet complex. It’s really an incredibly deep theological song, for those with the ears to hear.

At the risk of being overly simplistic and dualistic, there are two major kinds of theological views out there in the world today.

Fear based.
Love/Grace based.

This song is a powerful expression of the latter. When he got done playing it for me, in his baritone voice, he asked me what I thought.

So, I showed him my tattoo. My tattoo which reads “Fear Not.”

Love/Grace based theology is right there within all of the great religious traditions, and most certainly within mine. It just gets drowned out in our culture by the loud, fearful voices.

But love and grace don’t generally shout.

They will whisper to your soul, though. And they inspire some beautiful songs.

Thanks to Steve for allowing me to record this one, and for writing a song I wish I’d written…EF

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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