Christ (Who Has Everything)

I (Who have Nothing) by Ben E. King is one of my favourite songs. Released in 1963, it is based upon an earlier Italian version from 1961 entitled Uno Dei Tanti by Giulio Rapetti. King’s version is truly beautiful; there’s little wonder that Shirley Bassey and others requisitioned it. 

A man longs for a woman but is too poor to compete with his rival, who offers ‘bright sparkling diamonds’ as well as the whole world. He can take her anywhere ‘she wants, to clubs and restaurants’; the singer, however, has nothing but genuine love to offer, even as he watches them through a window. The lucky lady being serenaded must choose between a rich man offering pleasure and a poor man offering nothing but himself.

Who remembers singing this at Sunday School?

I met Jesus at the cross roads,

Where the two ways meet;

Satan too was standing there,

And he said ' Come this way,

Lots and lots of pleasures I can give to you this day.'

Satan offers the world’s ‘bright sparkling diamonds’ that we might turn our backs on the real Lover of our souls. But as the old children’s song ably demonstrates, Christ is no pauper with his nose pressed to the glass, eyeing our souls with empty hands:

But I said 'No!  there's Jesus here,

Just see what He offers me:

Down here my sins forgiven,

Up there, a home in heaven;'

Praise God that's the way for me.