One of Prince’s Last Songs? About Jesus.

Prince died today. (Unbelievably, the same year as Bowie. Sigh.)

And one of his last songs ever recorded and released as a stand-alone single wasn’t a typical Prince song.

Here’s the story:

A little over a year ago, while Prince was driving, he tuned in to a local Christian radio station and heard Nichole Nordeman’s song from her 2005 album Brave, “What If”.

Here’s Nordeman’s version (pardon the corny video):

 

Here are the lyrics to “What If”:

What if you’re right?
He was just another nice guy.
What if you’re right?

What if it’s true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you.
What if it’s true?

What if He takes His place in history with all the prophets and the kings
who taught us love and came in peace, but then the story ends?

What then?

But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you’ve never dreamed of hoping for?

What if you jump?
Just close your eyes.
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

What if you dig way down deeper
than your simple-minded friends?
What if you dig?

What if you find a thousand more unanswered questions down inside?

That’s all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic and begin poke the holes?
What if the crown of thorns is no more than folklore that must be told
and re-told, and re-told?

But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you’ve never dreamed of hoping for?

What if you jump?
Just close your eyes.
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

‘Cuz you’ve been running as fast as you can.
You’ve been looking for a place you land for so long.

But what if you’re wrong?

What if you jump?
Just close your eyes.
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

Nordeman’s song apparently impacted him, as he recorded his version of it. It was released online a little over a year ago, only to be removed the same day.

But after a little digging I found the song buried in the archives:

It certainly isn’t Prince’s best cover. But any Prince cover is noteworthy. And that he recorded this song dealing with faith and doubt from a distinctly Christian perspective a little more than a year before his untimely death casts new light on it.

What if Prince, who wrote his share of sexually explicit and raunchy songs and was later in life a professing Jehovah’s Witness (i.e. a religious group clearly outside the bounds of historic Christian orthodoxy) found Jesus is “more than enough”?

As one who appreciated Prince’s musical gifts and is glad to live in Minneapolis (his hometown), here’s hoping he was caught surprised by the unfathomable love and grace of the Triune God in Christ Jesus.

What if indeed.

 

 

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