A fantastic song by an underrated artist, “Dear Lord” is a gutsy conversation between man and God, where suffering creates faith, which in turn births repentance. A very strong “presence of God’s absence”/ theology of the cross vibe. Just after it was released in 2002, I remember reading an interview with Arthur, who does not identify himself as a Christian or a particularly religious person, where the interviewer asked him what accounted for all the “religious” songs on the new record, and his wonderful reply was, “I don’t know. That’s just what comes out. I’m as surprised by it as anyone.” That said, I think I smell some sobriety… “Dear Lord” is one of the many standouts on his – get a load of this – Redemption’s Son record, which also includes the Gospel-centric closer, “You’ve Been Loved.” The only version on youtube is one of Arthur’s trademark live solo loop-fests, and as good as it is, it’s not quite a match for the studio version, which is well worth searching out.

Lyrics (with God’s voice in italics):

I can’t take what’s going on
With my friends and family
I can’t take what’s going on
Baby, with you and me

I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
I’m sorry for wanting to run
But Dear Lord when you did not come
My faith was gone

With this world gone to hell
And my freedom locked away in jail
Lord it’s become so hard to tell
If you’re there at all

I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
I’m sorry for wanting to run
But Dear Lord when you did not come
My faith was gone

Fail me, I don’t need to shout
When I turn your water into wine

Fail me, I don’t need to shout
When I turn your water into wine

Is there a chance to be redeemed?
Is there another night to dream?
Lord are you somewhere unseen
I believe you are

I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
I’m sorry for wanting to run
But Dear Lord when you did not come
My faith was born

Fail me, I don’t need to shout
When I turn your water into wine
Fail me, I don’t need to shout
When I turn your water into wine