Isbell and Jesus on Good Friday

I was thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with these recent Jesus posts, and I was reminded of one of my favorite songs. The posts try to do something similar to what Jason Isbell does in “Relatively Easy” (Apple Music).

Even though it’s dark at first, listen:

I lost a good friend
Christmas time when folks go off the deep end
His woman took the kids and he took Klonopin
Enough to kill a man of twice his size
Not for me to understand
Remember him when he was still a proud man
A vandal’s smile, a baseball in his right hand
Nothing but the blue sky in his eye

His tragic recollection turns into a beautiful portrait of a friend’s face. The dark image of the first several lines fades into something like a nostalgic 1987 Tops baseball card. You see his friend’s face, that “vandal’s smile.” His face shines, and you feel like you know him.

I’m toying with that image of the baseball card. The friend steps out of the portrait like the people in Harry Potter pictures. Now, Jesus steps in. He looks through the card and flashes a similar vandal’s smile. His face shines, and there’s nothing but blue sky in his eye. You feel like you know him. The smile is kind, but it’s twisted and smirky and fittingly called a “vandal’s.” He’s not predictable.

He’s about to tear it all down.

“For those overwhelmed with dispear.”

Something like that. That’s what the back of the card would say.