This week’s spotlight is on “Try Jesus,” a song from the Booth Brother’s 2001 This Stage Of Grace project. The project is best known for “Still Feeling Fine,” but this song is my favorite. The song is written by and features Joseph Smith. The music track is dominated by piano and a flute-like instrument (I’m instrument illiterate, so please overlook my lack of knowledge), so it is up to Joseph to carry this song, and he does so wonderfully. His vocal is one of the finest efforts of his career.
As good as the vocal is, the reason I love this song so much is the message found in the lyrics. You won’t find clever plays on words. You won’t find metaphors or any other kind of symbolism. What you will find are just some of the things Jesus can be to us.
If you ever need a friend closer than your brother
And if you ever need a counselor better than your mother
And if you ever need a someone to draw you closer to the Father
And if you ever need a hand to help you step out on the water
If you ever needed someone to lay down their life for you
If you ever need a healer when the doctor walks away
Friend try Jesus
And if you never thought you’d have the strength to face another day
If you ever needed someone to walk with you to the end
Try My Jesus
If I’m listening to this song, but not paying attention, that changes at this point in the song. Smith sneaks in something that personalizes the song and grabs my attention. Until now, every other line in the verses have been “Try Jesus.” In this line, he adds “my” and puts more emotion in the vocal. To me, it makes the point that all these things the song talks about really are MINE. Jesus is my friend, my counselor, my healer, my Savior. They aren’t just words to a song.
After “Try my Jesus” makes everything in the song personal, the final lines of the verse breaks my heart and builds me up at the same time.
And if you ever need to hear the words “I forgive you” again
Those lines make me cry almost every time I hear them. After the song makes me grateful for all the ways Jesus is there for me, it puts me in my place. It drives home that I will always need to hear Jesus say, “I forgive you.” Even on the rare days that I don’t do or say something I shouldn’t have, I need to hear that. Everyday, there is something more I should do or say in His service, but don’t. I need to hear “I forgive you.” This song not only helps me realize that I need to hear it, but tells me Jesus will always be there to say it.
The message of this song is so simple, but true. Whatever you need, whether it is a friend, a helping hand, a healer, or a savior, try Jesus. He never fails.