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'For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet...Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me' Psalms 22:16; 41:9

I am looking forward to when I can record I Am, Betrayed with a live string orchestra. I love the belligerent hemiola lower strings portraying the meandering and contradictory nature of those who betray. Writing this song was fascinating. Feeling how the story of betrayal becomes a cry of salvation. The lyrics begin with these psalms as reference. The anguish of best friends turning, a deep sadness we can all relate to. The miracle is how Jesus betrays the betrayal. Instead of vindicating hatred with hate, He continues in love.

I am not specifically referencing Judas Iscariot here. The great apostle Peter also betrayed Jesus. 'Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilæan. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

'And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.' Luke 22:54-62

Everyone, in one way or another, has at some time betrayed better judgement. Ignored promptings leading us to Him. Shrunk. Put banalities before eternity or let pride govern impetuously. With each betrayal we see or ignore a pointing question from Christ, 'lovest thou me more than these?' John 21:15 A doorway emerges between two worlds. One where our back remains turned. Another where 'we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed [us] from the chains of hell. Yea, [we] were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought [us] into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and [we] are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love' Alma 26:14-15 adapted

A sad, nagging conundrum is how one from the point of betrayal can turn and see. Blindness to Jesus's reality to help and heal is profound. This prompted me to write the lyrics, 'though blind, see'. It is common to hear 'I cannot change' or things like 'I am not religious'. The religion label hides reality, truth, growth and opportunity. Knowing Christ is not religion, it is freedom. 'If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.' John 8:31-32

Equally common is judgement we place on others. Even those feeling profoundly saved might exclude others from the same. My only answer is to hope and pray for a way, perhaps through hearing this music, that souls oblivious to Jesus's outstretched arm might see. No circumstance excludes them if they are willing, even though the pathway back may be rugged. I truly believe in Christ's ability to save. He can as 'I Am', save. To clarify, when Christ testified of himself he said 'Before Abraham was, I am.' John 8:58 The translation of 'I am' is Jehovah, the God who introduced Himself to Moses as the great 'I Am'. Jesus Christ, the God of Israel, is able to free Israelites from Egyptian slavery, able to loose bands of death and able to free hearts steeped in sin.

Finally a shout out to Chris Higgins who recorded this song for me. It reconnected us. We were friends as teenagers, enjoying many wonderful experiences. He was a phenomenal athlete, great to be on the same team with and part of a beautiful family I love. A terrible motorcycle accident almost ended his life. He now has his own family, a music business and studio. It is a miracle to me with all that has happened over the intervening years for Chris to now record this song. I appreciate it so much, thanks Chris!

Dogs encompass me

Hatred falls on me

They pierce my hands

I am betrayed

My own familiar friend

Trusted, with whom I ate

Lifts up his feet

Comes out in hate

I am betrayed

I am I Am, betrayed

Sour thy kiss

Greed deceived thy bliss

Fierce denial accedes for this

Others to blame for this

Though blind see

I came for thee

Slaves of death and pain

I came for those who betray

I can as I Am, save

Shake off the bind

Leave all behind

Find one who always is true

One who loves you

Always makes space for you

The only one who turns from you

Is you

'I am', betrayed

Your own 'I am', betrayed

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