Just As I Am


Something for the weekend.  Johnny Cash singing Just As I Am.  Used as the altar call song in Billy Graham Crusades, it was written in 1835 by Charlotte Elliott.  It has a simple power about it as it relates a sinner coming before God for pardon:

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

I was reminded of this hymn by watching an old The Waltons episode in our hotel room after my bride and I dropped off our son to begin his second year in law school.  I haven’t watched The Waltons in many years.  My parents loved it when it was originally broadcast back in the seventies, so perforce I watched it and thought that some of the shows had a good point to make, although many of them were just sappy.  The episode I watched was The Sinner, from 1972, and starred John Ritter as a young minister who accidentally gets drunk on “the recipe” (moonshine) of the elderly Baldwin sisters, relatives of his he promised his mother to visit, to the amusement of semi-infidel Grandpa Walton, played with his usual skill by old Hollywood Commie Will Geer, (never confuse actors with the characters they portray) who joins him in the visit and also gets drunk.  This produces a great scandal and he is shunned by his would-be congregation, until John Walton brings the minister, who believes now he is utterly unworthy and a disgrace, to the service and convinces the congregation to hear him preach.  He does so and states how he is a sinner and needs God’s forgiveness just like everyone else and that God’s forgiveness is always there for every repentant sinner.  Grandpa Walton then stands and begins singing Just As I Am with the rest of the congregation eventually joining in.  Go here to listen to a recording of this portion of the episode.  Despair is ever the great ally of the eternal enemy of Man, Satan, just as hope is ever the great ally of God.

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