Just Breathe

Those of you that follow this blog know that I’m a music junkie. I just completed my “Best of 2009” music list and with a cadre of fresh downloads waiting for me over at eMusic, I’m ready to start in with some piping hot 2010 releases in the coming months (Arcade Fire, Spoon, The National, and Radiohead are the ones I’m looking forward to the most).

But inevitably, there are always a couple of albums that I just never got around to purchasing from previous years that remain on my radar. I hardly ever pay full price for any of the albums I download; eMusic and the Amazon MP3 store make it silly to do so (with prices as low as $1.99 at Amazon and approx. .10 cents per song over at eMusic). But that means I’ll sometimes miss out on a great album that never goes on sale on either of those sites.

One such album from 2009 was Pearl Jam’s “Backspacer”. Thanks to an unexpected gift from a good friend today, I had $20 to spend over at iTunes. So I grabbed a copy based on the recommendations of a few friends. Upon initial listen, this is a solid album, right up there with some of their other stuff. But the track that grabs me most is “Just Breathe”, which has just started getting some radio play. Eddie Vedder says this is as close to a love song as the band has ever recorded. I’d have to agree.

Yes I understand that every life must end…
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go…
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love…
Some folks just have one,
Others they got none…
Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe.
The song closes with the following line:
Hold me till I die…
Meet you on the other side.
The point Vedder makes is one that I’ve thought about a lot. He’s talking about the kind of relationship that isn’t nearsighted; the kinds of relationships that endure beyond the present. I think the happiest people I know are the ones who have the luxury of inclusive language; people who use words like “we” and “us” and “y’all”. As Vedder says, “I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love.” That’s a great way to describe my state of mind these days. I find myself living with this incredible awareness of God’s blessing in my life with regard to other people. Sure, I’ve had to say goodbye to people I loved; and I’ve also lost my fair share of friends through the years for one reason or another. But at the end of the day, it really is overwhelming to realize the enormity of God’s gift to me in the individuals He has placed in my life. The four other people that live under this roof are making me such a better person; the people that I work alongside every day teach me so much about the heart of God; the friendships we have as a result of His Body are some of the greatest blessings of all — the kinds of relationships that flow on into eternity.
My good friend, Corey — the one who gave me the unexpected iTunes card today, by the way — used to have a way of saying it that was just beautiful. We’d be talking together or praying together and he’d say something like, “You know, Jason, I’m glad that we have this friendship here on earth, but imagine what it’ll be like in eternity. Imagine being in a place with no time constraints, no burdens, no pain. Imagine sitting there by the River of Life, watching as it flows out from the great City of God. And imagine Immanuel Himself walking out of the city, coming to be with us. And there we are, the two of us, sitting beside the Creator of the universe, all three of us with our feet dangling in the water of the River of Life.”
I still imagine that day, buddy. Thanks for the gift today — but even more for the gift of imagination and friendship.
Meet you on the other side!
This entry was posted in Eschatology, Faith, Jesus, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Just Breathe

  1. no name says:

    Yes, it is a blessing to have even one true friend.

  2. Tara says:

    Sorry I didn’t see the box to type my name. Any way to make your font bigger for you sister’s failing eyesight??

  3. Jason says:

    Don’t think I can change font size. I’ll check though.

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