On a trip to Birmingham recently, i heard an interesting conversation at the home of Ben and Sally May. Their younger son, my friend Andrew, is in the second grade and is learning about ‘cause and effect.’ It can be a rather difficult concept for a 7 year old mind to grasp. Well, this month’s song is a consideration of cause and effect – of something that happened and why.
Specifically, it addresses the question, in a roundabout way, why does lightning strike where it does? Is it purely arbitrary or is there some design to it? Presented theologically, the question asks whether or not God is involved in the small details of this world’s workings, really?
The song is also a celebration of one small town life, one i’ve mentioned before, Bobby Joe Baxley (BJ). (You might enjoy reading a bit about him in my newsletter dated May 16, 2002.)
It’s been one of the great blessings of this past year to spend time with Bobby Joe. He is sainted in the community where i live and lives out the pattern of Him “Who went around doing good.” (Acts 10:36)
In addition to a whole catalog of other skills he possesses, Bobby Joe has added that of ‘writer’ to his resume. He wrote his first poem this year, for his wife Pat’s birthday, and has written a book’s worth since then.
This song could easily fit into the “no ordinary people” page and i hope someday that Bobby Joe will let me record a conversation to share with y’all. In the meantime, enjoy this song that he’ll hear as a surprise on December 19, 2002 at our Thursday morning men’s meeting at my house. BJ turns 63 that day.
This song was inspired from a day of cutting firewood at the Dorchak farm near my home.
If i were to suggest a cross reference to this song, i’d say think ‘happy lightning’?
Footnote to Andrew: The cause here (what happened first) is that God killed the oak tree. The effect (what happened next, as a result of God killing the tree) is that i got to spend a day with my good friend Bobby Joe Baxley.
It was a red oak tree, it was a dead oak tree
It was standing tall in the middle of the autumn field
i called my friend BJ, could you help me out today
Need to cut a little fire wood before the winter chill
When lightning struck that big oak tree long time ago
i think God was planning me this day with Bobby Joe
‘Cause i need a little laughter, a wiser soul to follow after
So God made me an appointment with an older and a better man
He speaks and i just listen, to this tool-box magician
He’s a saint and a poet with a saw in his calloused hand
When lightning struck that big oak tree a long time ago
i think God was giving me this day with Bobby Joe
Some say that lightning strikes by accident, not me
i’m sure it hits right where the Lord wants it to be
i got a truck full of fire wood, i got a heart full of something good
i got a sweet memory of a big blue sky and a perfect day
When lightning struck that big oak tree a long time ago, now i know
God was planning me this day with Bobby Joe
God was giving me a day with Bobby Joe
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