I was freaking out as this week came to a conclusion, “I need another godless spiritual song?!” And then I found myself over at Target shopping for coffee and over the store speakers came, “Sometimes in our lives we all have pain…” Who better to be my savior than Bill Withers? But how could I have overlooked this song?! It is absolutely the perfect representation of the spirituality that I am thinking of.
According to Wikipedia, Withers wrote the song while in Los Angeles because he “found himself missing the strong community ethic of his hometown.” This song fits in rather well with the Sermon on the Mount. I think this is why most Christians don’t make a big deal out of the Sermon. They’ve been trained to think that Christianity is just a special pass into the joyous afterlife rather than the key to a joyous this life. I’m not saying that I’m right and they’re wrong. I don’t speak for their religion. But if that is all that Christianity is, it’s a pathetic religion.
Of course, the brilliance of the song is that it is ultimately practical. He explicitly says, “Lean on me because I know that someday I will need to lean on you.” It is also another part of spiritualism in that it is egalitarian and totally lacking in hubris. We are all together in this. Call me.