God’s Own Fool

In my early adulthood, when I embraced The Faith as my own, one of the first musicians I encountered and appreciated was Michael Card. I did not know it at the time, but his music, and particularly his lyrics, deeply influenced my theological sensibilities. Michael possesses a strong talent for paradoxical reflection, a talent I was later to find very sympathetic with the sensibilities of many of the Early Church Fathers.

Recently, as I was updating my IPod, a process that prompts me to redisover songs that I all too often neglect, I listened to a couple of Michael’s more recent albums, which further prompted me to think of other albums of his that I owned but somehow lost along the way. Among the many songs a standout was titled “God’s Own Fool.” As I look back on the formative influences of my early Christian journey, I would not hesitate to credit Mr. Card with giving me a strong sense of God’s irony, the paradoxical nature of Christianity, the limits of human reason, and an over all sense of wonder regarding the God that is revealed in Jesus Christ.

With all this said, I give you the lyrics to “God’s Own Fool”


Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind
Even His family said He was mad
And the priest said a demon’s to blame
But, God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

We in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
We in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter’s son
For a madman who died for a dream
And You’ll have the faith His first followers had
And you’ll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Find the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see

So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well

6 Responses to “God’s Own Fool”

  1. K.L.B.  

    There’s a song, the lyric in part to which I still do not know, though I suspect it is Bob Carlisle. I remember hearing him perform at Belmont College (now University) – at the end of 16th & 17th Streets, Nashville’s famous “Music Row” – when I attended there in ’82/’83.

    It was – as best I recollect, and again, in part – “sometimes the questions say more than the answers ever will.”

    I think in a very real way I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by so many genuinely good musicians, many of whom have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    And, if you know me – and I think you do – you know I’ve gotta’ give props, Anthony!

    God’s Own Fool
    (ASCAP Title Code: 370207508) 
    Writers: Michael J. Card

    Birdwing Music
    Attn: EMI Christian Music Group
    101 Winners Circle
    Brentwood, TN 37027
    Tel. (615) 371-6800

    Mole End Music
    c/o Birdwing Music
    Attn: EMI Christian Music Group
    101 Winners Circle
    Brentwood, TN 37027
    Tel. (615) 371-6800

  2. Anthony Velez  

    Kevin – Apparently it all comes back to Michael Card as the Carlisle lyric you mentioned reminded me of another song of Mr. Card titled “Could It Be” in which the chorus goes:

    Could it be You make Your presence known
    So often by Your absence?
    Could it be that questions tell us more
    Than answers ever do?
    Could it be that You would really rather die
    Than live without us?
    Could it be the only answer that means anything
    Is You?

    I think both you and I, and many many others are all profoundly thankful for the ministry of music.

  3. Melissa  

    I love his music, too. He does rejoice (and grieve) over the ironic, doesn’t he. My favorite album of his is actually one he recorded with John Michael Talbot called Brother to Brother where they sang each other’s songs together. Really neat. If you’re interested in hearing it, let me know and I can send it your way (if you don’t have it already). : )

  4. Anthony Velez  

    Melissa – I thank you for the offer, but as you guessed, I already own that album, and like you, it is one of my favorites. Actually, I have or had a number of John Michael Talbot Albums, as well as a couple from his brother Terry. Unfortunately with multiple moves throughout my life, and a few changes in technology, I have lost a few along the way.

  5. Roger Green  

    Anthony, you are a winner!

  6. Karl K  

    I had to revisit this, after hearing Michael Card preach this weekend.

    As the pastor introduced him he warned the church that Michael ‘drinks from a deep well’. The intro also spoke of a missionary from Brazil that wrote Michael Card a letter telling him that the inspiration of ‘Love Crucified Arose’ had driven him to continue his mission in Brazil, and to start writing books. That missionary is now Minister of Preaching at this church and has sold a few books of his own, Max Lucado.

    Michael Card’s music & theology has certainly had an impact on Christianity over the last 29 years. The suffering of Christ, the suffering of man, and Christ joining us in our suffering.

    My wife and I were both glassy eyed by the end of the service, and I have a new favorite Michael Card song myself: ‘Come Lift Up Your Sorrows’.

    Michael Card drinks from a deep well.