Wednesday, August 15, 2007

every lament is a love song

In his book, 'Lament for a Son', (which I commend to anyone who wants to think about grief and God and love) Nicholas Wolterstorff tells us that 'every lament is a love-song.'

I wrote a song to accompany my final self-evaluation for my Clinical Pastoral Education program. It's pasted below.

Every lament is a love song: a song about cpe.

What kind of God are you that you want my worship
What kind of God are you that you want my prayer
Who am I to criticize your method?
Who am I to question your care?

Did you promise me abundance?
Did you promise me light?
I'm not getting a dawning.
I'm getting walking with me through the night.

I've been asking, all the old questions.
Children dying, all of the time.
I want you God, to get here and transform us
I want you God, to make the verses rhyme

I want you, to heal my patients
I want you to end the war
I want you, but that's not what you tell me
All you promise is that you will show up.

I've stopped looking to you for victory
I've seen too much pain, for a time
I'm not looking to you for abundance
O God my God I'm looking to you for enough.

Sometimes, I don't think you are trying
When the world seems like one big bruise.
But I believe that you cry the hardest;
This is some kind of awful good news

Bridgey stuff

One bed's laughing, one bed's cursing, one bed's crying
All together
One at a time

I believe you are there, in the blood, in the bread
I believe that you move, in the wind and in the wine

This world feels like missing a lover
This world feels like dancing in a cast
All I can give them is some love and space and presence
I just show up; I believe that's all you ask.

I can't offer them abundance
I can't give them any truth or joy or light.
Somehow, I just give them what you promise.
I show up, and walk with them through the night.

It's not much, this grace we have to share.
It's not much, but it's enough, it's enough.

(repeat last two lines.)

-I think there might be another verse in me, about how we show up, and a few other people show up, and they're never perfect, and often they're deeply flawed, but their showing up enables our continuing showing up. So, yeah. I'll put up a link to a recording if I ever get that together. I told Beth that you can just sing it to the tune of Yankee Doodle, but that was a lie.



Megan Highfill said...

Did you write a mandolin or guitar part or anything? It would be beautiful put to real, life music.

David Reese said...


I sure did, but I think the only way to post it here would be chords, right now. I'll put up a recording when/if that happens.

AAGlenn said...

Wonderful, David.
Showing up and PRESENCE is most all of what anyone needs.
There are so many people out there in the world for whom no one has ever done that--shown up and/or another word for that is listen, and as your song says, sometimes it is just BEING with the person.

I'm still talking about chicago. Thanks for your part in my enjoying your current city.
hugs and peace, Alice Ann