Natalie pulled up to the curb, I jumped out quickly to hug her goodbye. As my twenty one year old daughter grabbed her uniform shirt and ran into the popular restaurant where she was to work the lunch shift, I assumed the driver’s seat position. The morning was sunny, dry palm leaves swished in the gentle breeze as I headed towards the beach, just a few blocks away. Shifting into first then second, I reached to change the radio station. My hand stopped short as I caught the words of the song that was playing.
A young woman with a sweet voice was singing that it was a quarter after one, she was a little drunk and she needed him… now. She wondered if he ever thought of her, wanting to be strong she would lose control and call him, and did not know if she could live without him. These words struck a cord in me: a breaking heart, drinking to ease the pain, impaired judgment occurs, consequently heaping regret upon regret. The tune was very catchy as well as melancholy.
Many people can identify with this scenario. I sure can. The memory is vivid, so strong and distinct that just hearing the words of this song impart a heaviness and oppression within my soul. I remember sitting on a bar stool glancing over my left shoulder toward the door, perceiving the contrast of the darkness inside to the bright sunshine of that warm summer day outside. Many days and nights were spent sitting in a smoky, stinky stale beer smelling bar, drinking shots of peppermint Schnapps until the pain of betrayal diminished…at least for a short time.
There was camaraderie there: we were all damaged or broken in some way. Crying in our beer and on each others’ shoulder. I had plenty to cry over: a drunken ex-husband, two small boys to raise with little or no support of any kind, (my choices even when sober were impaired). Oh yes, we laughed and joked and lost our inhibitions, jobs, families, health, and time that is gone forever that could have been spent more worthily with those we said we loved. Some even lost lives.
As I listened to this beguiling tune I was both sad and angry. Sad, as this song connects with the grief and betrayal all of us have experienced over lost love. Angry, as it also legitimizes sinful behavior, lawlessness, indulgent self pity as the only alternative choice. This self defeating behavior leads young impressionable men and women down this path of destruction. I know first hand the consequences of this behavior; consequences that may last a lifetime, and it is not pretty. Neglect of my children, hangovers, broken relationships, shameful conduct, or the inability to even remember it, is ugly.
This popular song conveys the cultural acceptance of an attitude and behavior that perversely and covertly perpetuates the problem. It solves nothing. The music of the world is insidious. Little by little, step-by-step, we walk farther in the ensnarement. Nice beat, harmonious notes, common emotions-mix it up and what do you have? Enslavement.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
Millions will hear, identify, hum this captivating melody which unconsciously persuades one to incorporate it’s message into the heart and soul as normal, appropriate response to the unhappiness that comes with life. The enemy has succeeded in blocking our dependence and trust in “Adonai Roph’ekha, The LORD who heals you; The LORD your healer;” (Exodus 15:26)
Only the LORD, G-d of Israel can heal…ANYTHING, especially a broken heart, and a broken life. The booze will not do it, your friends cannot do it, all the ‘highs’ in the world, all the phone calls, a new relationship, and sex cannot do it. After you try all this eventually you run out of options. “Baruch Ha Shem” [Bless G-d] I ran out before it was too late, and into the arms of the One that could “fix me”. Listen to what King David wrote in Psalm 103
By David: Bless ADONAI, my soul! Everything in me, bless his holy name! 2) Bless ADONAI, my soul, and forget none of his benefits! 3) He forgives all your offenses, he heals all your diseases, 4) he redeems your life from the pit, he surrounds you with grace and compassion, 5) he contents you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s. 6) ADONAI brings vindication and justice to all who are oppressed. 7) He made his way known to Moshe, his mighty deeds to the people of Isra’el. 8)ADONAI is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in grace. 9) He will not always accuse, he will not keep his anger forever. 10) He has not treated us as our sins deserve or paid us back for our offenses,
11) because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven. 12) He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. 13) Just as a father has compassion on his children, ADONAI has compassion on those who fear him. 14) For he understands how we are made, he remembers that we are as dust. 15) Yes, a human being’s days are like grass, he sprouts like a flower in the countryside- 16) but when the wind sweeps over, it’s gone; and its place knows it no more. 17) But the mercy of ADONAI on those who fear him is from eternity past to eternity future, and his righteousness extends to his children’s children, 18) provided they keep his covenant and remember to follow his precepts. 19) ADONAI has established his throne in heaven; his kingly power rules everything. 20) Bless ADONAI, you angels of his, you mighty warriors who obey his word! 21) Bless ADONAI, all his troops, who serve him and do what he wants! 22) Bless ADONAI, all his works, in every place where he rules! Bless ADONAI, my soul!
Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern
Turn, turn from sin, and turn to Adonai.
Sarah Anne Summer