“’If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.” (Jn 14: 15-18)

I thought of this passage recently, not because I was reading the Gospel, but because I was listening to a song by Johnny Cash, “…because you’re mine, I walk the line.”

Is that strange, to be led to Scripture from a song by Johnny Cash? No, I don’t think so. After all, if the High-Priest Caiaphas, an important voice of his time, was given to prophesy about our Lord’s redemptive death (Jn 11: 49-52), then great artists of our time can give voice to vital truths about us; e.g., about the nature of human love and its consequences, like mindfulness and obedience: “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,” says Johnny Cash, “I keep my eyes wide open all the time...”

It’s my imperfect, human love that our Lord appeals to, when He says to me: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And He says this to all of us, just before His arrest and trial, when most of us scattered and left Him desolate: “I will not leave you desolate…” Because His perfect, divine love is willing to make perfect my imperfect, human kind: “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor…”

So let me embrace His love for me today, as He embraces mine, despite its imperfections. He sends me “another Counselor” despite my betrayals to “other” counselors, time and again. Today let me “walk the line,” His line, not because I have to, and not because I’m “worthy” to, but simply because He’s mine, and I’m His. Glory be to Him.

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