If you’ve come to walk just one mile
And to tell me what you’re taught to say,
Go on home; I’m not gonna listen.
I don’t think you’ve a thing real to say to me.
But if you’ve come to walk all the way
And tell me how you really feel,
Have a seat; I’m ready to listen.
I think you might have something real to say.
About this Song:
I was visiting my original in-laws in November of 1979 when the ideas for two songs came to me. This is one of them. What you can’t tell from just looking at the words, however, is the rhythm was so tricky–so challenging–that I never bothered to write the tune down until 1993. And even then it was just an approximation.
It was as much a challenge to play as to write down, and the effect of age on my hands has made it impossible to record. How I regret that! Nonetheless, I managed to do a self-video a few years ago. Feel free to watch it here.
I’ll never forget doing a program at Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury, Maryland, one Sunday evening closer to 1979 than to now. I was sitting on a stool. “The First & Second Mile Blues” made me so nervous that the guitar bounced up and down on my knee from start to finish, and I’m not sure how many right notes I hit–if any. No wonder I decided never to do that song in public again!
But my friends at the Ashland Convalescent Center are pretty low key and uncritical, and I don’t get as uptight about mistakes as I used to. So sometime within the last ten years I chanced doing it for them. It not only went well, they actually seemed to like it.
Enough about that, though.
If you’re familiar with Jesus’ teachings, the idea of voluntarily going the second mile in doing something distasteful for someone rather than just the required first mile–that teaching can be applied to so many aspects of life–then you understand where the idea came from.
None of us is in a position to try to pass our wisdom along to others in a forceful and distasteful way. Especially if it’s unsought. No wonder we tend to describe people who witness that way as “Bible thumpers” and accuse them of hitting listeners over the head with their Bibles.
They can’t seem to understand that nobody wants to listen to them until they’ve established themselves as genuine examples of what they’re proclaiming. As Christians, that often means going the second mile to establish a credible relationship.
Do people willingly listen to your Christian witness or are they too busy running from you because of the way you’re trying to ram Jesus’s love down their throats?
I write Christian novels as well as songs. The two most recent ones are shown below and their pictures are links to the Amazon pages. The eighteen-book picture is a link to my Amazon Author Page.
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