Jesus reveals to us God who is one with us in suffering, grief and death… a God who weeps with us. God doesn’t intervene to prevent the tragedies and sufferings of life. If we had a god who simply swooped down as some “deus ex machina” to prevent human tragedy and sinfulness, then religion and faith would simply be reduced to some form of magic or fate, and we would be helpless pawns on the chessboard of some whimsical god. Where is God in the midst of human tragedies? God is there in the midst of it all, weeping. This is our God who stands in deep, human solidarity with us, and through the glory of the Incarnation, embracing fully our human condition. — Pope Francis
Back in 2011 a coworker of mine introduced me to a song by Evanescence called, Bring Me to Life. She said, “I think this song could be about prayer.” I listened to it but never gave it too much more thought until last year when I met a young woman on a retreat who told me that this song helped her find faith. Though the band’s intent in writing the song is not totally clear (their music video is a fanciful story of a suicidal woman), the lyrics lend themselves powerfully to a Christian interpretation. In any event, this woman I met on retreat told me that she had been entertaining suicidal thoughts in the wake of some personal life failures. Especially after her long-time boyfriend suddenly left her.
She said she was driving in her car one evening and was desperate to relieve her inner pain. That night she came as close as she ever had to giving up and ending her life. She said, “I never really thought about God much before. I grew up in an agnostic home. It wasn’t that I was really an atheist, I just didn’t see religion as relevant. But in my desperation that night, my thoughts raced. I was searching for some meaning and purpose above the pain and loss. I turned the radio on to distract me. And then this song came on and devastated me. I had to pull over. As I heard the lyrics, and felt the music’s call for help, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably. I found a voice for my inner torment. And without my even knowing it was happening, I suddenly thought of God. It was God who was the only possible object of all my cries for relief. I was alone, but not any more. For the first time ever, I prayed. I prayed the words of that song.”
I listened to the song later at home and was overcome with emotion thinking of her pain, and with an overwhelming gratitude that the God behind this vast universe is, in His deepest nature, the answer to this song’s desperate cry. I imagined her sitting in the car, drenched unknowlingly in God’s co-mingling tears.
Listen, feel and imagine her prayer: