This one’s from several years ago, around Christmas time it seems. The girl’s facebook posts didn’t say freaking. But it being Christmas, I cleaned them up a bit. I’ve lost track of this girl. Haven’t seen her on facebook for a while. Hope she’s ok.
The other day I’m driving down 71 with MaryEllen and Maly, and Maly wants to sing. We tell her to go ahead and we’ll try to join in. So she launches in to Piano Man by Billy Joel. Between the three of us I think we got most of it knocked out. Piano Man didn’t get us to Butler, so Maly picked another of her favorites, Silent Night, all three verses. And of course singing along with my wife and daughter to Piano Man and Silent Night got me thinking about what else, communion meditation.
If you’re not familiar with Billy Joel’s masterpiece about the loneliness and emptiness that is part of so many lives, let me read a bit of it to you. If you know it already, feel free to sing along.
Its nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his tonic and gin
He says, son, can you play me a memory?
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger mans clothes
Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davy who’s still in the navy
And probably will be for life
And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinkin’ alone
And it’s into this night, and every night, of loneliness and desperation that God steps. And when he does, shepherds quake at the sight, glories stream from heaven, and heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the savior is born.
While I was working on this yesterday, I took a break to look at Facebook. So with the idea of Christ stepping into our broken lives, let me read to you the last few status updates made by a girl, one of my past students, a kid I like a lot.
tired of it all
doesn’t really know what to think about things lately
is tired of being everyone’s second choice!!!!!!!!!
why cant i just freaking hate, after all you have freaking done to me, i haven’t even spoke to you, i thought that’s what you wanted, WHY THE freak DO I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
And finally, yesterday’s status–
just want someone who cares, someone i can hold, and someone to love me unconditionally, despite my problems or issues.
My heart broke. Here I’m writing about baby Jesus born in a stable, who grew up with the mantle of son of god and messiah, yet spent his time befriending outsiders, the lonely, the lost, and proclaiming that the kingdom of god is at hand. And here I am now believing that that kingdom is here, and proclaiming that kingdom; and meanwhile the world is full of lost lonely outsiders who are crying out, and not just john and paul and davy from a song, but real people that we know and love.
This morning we don’t have to share a drink called loneliness. But we do share a drink that reminds us that there was a time when our god was lonely; that reminds us that there are those out there, and those right here, who are lonely. We share a drink that reminds us of what was done for us when we were searching for some meaning in this world; and encourages us, I hope, to bring that meaning, to bring that Jesus, to others who still search.