I was reading and writing this evening when the Andrew Peterson song “The Good Confession (I Believe)” came forward on my random music playlist. I can’t listen to that piece without tearing up. I guess it hits me with a jarring reminder that I am a former nine year-old boy who owes everything to a little south Mississippi congregation that, in their own flawed and Faulknerian way, really meant the lyrics to “Just As I Am.”

My Sunday school and Training Union teachers probably didn’t know anything else to do. They probably just read from the quarterly and from the King James Bible. But I heard the voice of Jesus, sometimes muffled and always with a deep southern accent, but it was still that voice—the voice that calls corpses from their holes.

Running around my feet right now are four boys. I pray, with fear and trembling and hope, that they hear it too. If so, it probably won’t be because of sophisticated theological pronouncements or dynamic strategies. It’ll probably be the same way I (and perhaps you) heard it, just the repetition of a simple story of a gory execution hill, an empty garden grave, and a Father who loves scoundrels like us, just as we are, without one plea.