And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from the lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men are sailors then, until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken long before the sky would open
Forsaken almost human he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him.
One day I was listening to Leonard Cohen’s song “Suzanne” that included the verse you just read. (click here for Neil Diamond’s version of “Suzanne” on You Tube)
The line that Jesus was a sailor is very provocative, linked to the question as to what we humans must bring to the encounter with Jesus for it to be life-changing. A person will not encounter Jesus properly without sensing to some degree that they are “drowning”, that is – people will not respond to Jesus unless Jesus’ reality matches a hope, need, desire, etc., that they have. At the same time, it needs to be said that Jesus’ reality doesn’t match all hopes, needs, desires, etc., that people can have. Jesus is not a jinni in a bottle!!
The words also reinforce, for me, the value of using contemporary music as a component when presenting the truth of God. I know that some Christians do it, and I am glad they do. I wish more would, assuming it is done intelligently.