615 - Just As I Am

Tune: Woodworth

I know this hymn is pretty corny, but I like it.  When I was a kid growing up in an evangelical fundamentalist home, I was taught that this was not a good hymn for a Christian to believe because it implied that we didn't need to work on improving ourselves, God liked us just the way we were.  Ultimately I found that I couldn't fix myself up enough on my own, I needed God before I was spiffed up enough to be "worthy".  I came to take the words of this hymn into my heart, and singing/believing it is one of the ways I repudiate my hard-core past and live gratefully and humbly into the uncertainty of life in the present moment.

Lots of hymnals have the music in E-flat, as it is here in Common Praise.  Personally, I prefer it in D-flat.  D-flat is a warmer, richer key which wraps itself around the singer.  E-flat is more of a hoity-toity church-lady-in-a-hat type of key, it's more cheery and less introspective.  The E-flat version is above; listen to the D-flat version below, and see what you think.