Friday, November 27, 2009

Midnight Rider and Johnny Cash [or putting your money...]

Johnny Cash: Man in BlackRecently on the costuming board I frequent, a guy reached into his closet and put together an original costume for a TV show on comic book conventions. He was at a loss for a name, though. Firstly, it was a great costume - all in black. Second, he was wearing a hood and a mask - sort of like Hourman, which made you think of some short duration power, etc. Really topped it off with a utility belt and some good hard-wearing boots and gloves.

I suggested several names before settling on Midnight Rider. I seemed to remember those words in a song, so I went searching on YouTube. Not only did Allman Brothers do a song about a "Midnight Rider", but Johnny Cash - the ORIGINAL 'Man in Black' did an old spiritual with "midnight rider" in the song itself; the spiritual was entitled "Run On" or "God's Gonna Cut You Down."

So like all my other creative processes, I swirled it all together to say this was a former criminal who was changed - at midnight - and turned from his former ways. [Still a bit open on how and why...] Now he goes out to warn others of God's judgment - and has the power to stop evil, using the very darkness they hide in. [Like Marvel's 'Ghost Rider' who forms objects out of flame, this guy uses darkness.]

I also found myself listening hard and discovering how deep Johnny Cash's faith really was. He was a very hurt man who cared a lot for the downtrodden. He wore black though, and I think the mainstream Christian community did not know if they should really accept him or not. [Well, let's put it this way: not too many God-fearing moms used Johnny to be a role-model for their kids.]

But Johnny was for real. His sins were fairly public, IMO, but so was his repentance and struggle to overcome them. In one video, another artist says "We loved Elvis too much, I think. I think that's what killed him. But Johnny stayed alive and I think that was due to his faith."

You see, faith is more than saying you believe in God; it is saying no to the world and its allurements as well. And we Southern Christian boys may get a lot of good lessons at church - but until we personally say no to worldly wealth and fame and etc., we quickly end up doing a nose-dive. Easy to do when you come from poverty and a simple rural background.

Anyway, Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, did indeed put his money - and his heart - where his mouth - his songs - were.

In this video you will see some VERY famous persons - none of whom are known in any form to be followers of Christ - but appreciated Johnny Cash and what he sang about God's judgment on those who believe there is no justice in the world, no final judgment.

Cash's empathy with the least, last, and lost, won many hearts. Only on the Last Day will we know how many souls he won as well.

Thanks, Johnny.

God bless.


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