He Doesn’t Look a Thing Like Jesus

I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song. It was a scorching hot summer and my sister and I spent it in Keansburg, New Jersey. I was in the living room playing Guitar Hero with my cousin, obviously kicking some serious ass. We’d just finished a round to Paramore’s Crush, Crush, Crush, and I requested a new song. Something we hadn’t played before. We went down the list and my cousin said, “Oh, this one is fresh. You’ll like it it.” I trusted him, and as soon as the song started, I felt the strings of my heart being tugged. My cousin had a friend who was always at the house and I was OBSESSED with him. He had a weird shaped head and honestly, kind of weird facial structure, but something about him was cool. The way he wore his socks just a bit under his knees, or how angry he got during a game of basketball at Forest Park, or how he said “God” after everything, made me swoon relentlessly. You can’t always understand why you like someone, you just do. So, as we rocked out like professional guitar players, the words of this song kind of stuck with me. Every time I saw him after that, I’d say to myself “he doesn’t look a thing like Jesus,” and kind of giggle. When we first got to Jersey, my twelve year old boy-crazy mind had decided that a summer fling would be the one and only thing to make my summer fantastic. I put my happiness on his back and was sure that he would relinquish any sadness I was feeling, or better yet, any insecurities. I wasn’t so hot back then. I then realized that I shouldn’t look to anyone to save me. No one should be in control of my happiness and my ability to flourish in anyway. I needed to learn how to save myself. On the contrary, I still chased him aimlessly, but I was twelve, you know? Still kind of stupid. Over the years, I’d listen to this song on repeat until the words registered, and honestly, nine years later, they don’t always stick with me. I still find myself throwing my self-worth on the burner waiting for someone to put out the fire. Then I’ll listen to the words.

“They say the devil’s water, it ain’t so sweet. You don’t have to drink it right now. But you can dip your feet every once in a little while.”


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