Jesus died, but now he lives. In Detroit. Sort of.

I posted a link to this post by 23Thorns several months ago. Now I’m re-blogging the post. Why, you ask? Because a good friend has just watched the documentary “Searchinf for Sugar Man” at least 7 times on NetFlix this past week or so and convinced me to watch it.. I’d forgotten 23Thorns’ post, but it all came back to me part way into the film. If you have NetFlix, do yourself a favour and watch it, too. Beware, though; you may come out even more inspired thatn you already are . . . ~ Linne


I was very young when my father discovered Jesus. He was walking around his garden, as was his wont, when he heard Jesus next door. He popped his head over the wall to ask the neighbour who he was listening to, and from that day forth, Jesus became part of our lives.

We knew his every word before we had seen out our first decade. If you asked me now, I could repeat every one to you without even pausing to think about it. It set us in good stead, because most of our peers only discovered Jesus in late high-school, or university, or the army. But one of those weird quirks of history ensured that generation after generation of young white South Africans were all destined to find Jesus eventually.

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8 thoughts on “Jesus died, but now he lives. In Detroit. Sort of.

  1. I loved this story SO much I got the album and suddenly remembered half of the songs! He must have been big here in Australia in the 70’s as I remember those songs playing on the radio in my childhood. Not bad for a builder from the U.S. who never made it big in his hometown. I loved that South Africa embraced him with such passion…sort of like Japan did with K.I.S.S. (South Africa and my ex 😉 ). This post made me cry. Mr 23Thorns has that nack doesn’t he? LOVE his and Tracy’s writing, they should team up and write a book on the history of the Lowveld 🙂

    • If he had been born in South Africa, he woukd have been famous, I’m sure. I was surprised he was never teamed up with Bob Dylan or Phil Ochs; he would have been a great hit at Woodstock, too.

      His music impresses me so much, yet, in the end, it’s his personality, humility and loving soul that leaves the most lasting impression. The documentary brought me to tears, especially by the end, and yes, Mr. 23Thorns, too. I looked for the recordings online and there is a Rodriguez site, but they don’t ship to Canada. In the New Year I plan to have a couple of the CDs and maybe a Tshirt shipped to my sister’s. From there, things eventually make their way north.

      • I just loved his voice. I remembered him as soon as I put his name into Youtube and heard it. It took me straight back to my childhood and vivid memories of hearing sugar man on the car radio with my parents. Isn’t it amazing how music can transform us? 🙂

      • Yes, Narfie7, music is amazing, isn’t it? I have a book called “Music as the Bridge” that explains some of that. I’m glad to have learned of Rodriguez now, but would have loved it even more in my younger days. As I said elsewhere, he’s right up there with Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan for me . . .

    • I can’t believe he was unknown here, known in New Zealand and Australia, and practically worshipped in South Africa . . .

      I admire him so much; working at hard labour (in a tuxedo at times, it said) while earning a degree in philosophy; finding recognition later in his life, then giving most of the money to family and friends; re-finding his place in the world as an amazing songwriter, musician, singer, poet, while not letting go of the place he already had as a blue-collar worker and staying in the same house he’s lived in for over 40 years . . .

      To me, he is a true hero. Lost to the world for a long time, but never lost in it . . . and obviously seeing this world so clearly, but not becoming bitter or defeated. What more could we all aspire to? Watching this makes it pretty hard to think it’s too late for achievement, or that the small achievements of daily life don’t count.

      This should be required viewing in schools, from middle school on; even better, we should learn from Rodriguez’ example and teach by living . . . His, to me, is a life well lived. His daughters, and what they had to say, were also inspiring. One said he showed her there was no place she couldn’t go . . .

      • Rodriguez’ story inspired me as much as that of Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others. It’s hard to be defeatist or bitter in the face of such examples.

        Yes, I begin to think there IS hope for us, too . . . 😉 So many here, like you, Pauline, are quietly inspirational, too. Jess and Frannie (and families) working so hard to improve their but of earth; Wendy and Roger taking on a huge social issue. Even those who are expressing their creative spirits; everyone is doing something to make the world a better place. It seems the spirit of the 60s and part of the 70s is still at work . . .

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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