Bring Me to Life

Icon of the Resurrection (Jesus lifting Adam and Eve out of Hades)

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 with good speakers, feel and imagine her prayer:

12 comments on “Bring Me to Life

  1. Nos says:

    GOD is so so so good… and as Sister Ellen said in response to this statement by me several years ago… ” always”…I pray that this woman you met on retreat plants this seed of hope ,faith and love in all she touches , truly… beautiful post Thomas…P.B.W.Y.A.A. the jew.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ve observed that despite beautiful, reassuring, thoughtful explanations of God’s presence in the midst of suffering such as Pope Francis’ above, or I think of DBH or your own -(all utterly beautiful, thoughtful, prayerful), people remain unconvinced, unsatisfied with these responses to their visceral suffering though they be “drenched unknowingly in God’s co-mingling tears.”

    …it’s not something that can be answered tidily through good (or even exceptional) apologetics… and then indeed they meet Him there or He meets them there in their suffering and the truth of His co-suffering presence, His co-mingling tears suddenly felt upon one’s soul obliterates the urgency of the question. Transforms it I think. ‘He is intimately and infinitely wrapped up with me here in this’. This is enough. And then of course the thoughtful explanations are so-o-o right.

    • Very well articulated, Jennifer. The Popes’ teaching on evangelization is right in line with your argument. Apologetics can soften the ground and break up some of the harder clods; or it can strengthn faith once it has come to life; but only in the personal encounter with God in the depths of the heart can living, viceral faith awaken. Evangelization is all about facilitating that personal encounter. Pope B16, your man, calls this transforming encounter with God in Jesus “friendship” — and he says: “Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation.”
      St Bernard would argue that only when knowledge and love join does faith come alive (or vice versa) and “ravish the heart”…then the mind follows. So your point is so important for those who wish to lead others to living faith and not just ideological persuasion.
      Your point also makes me think of this video I have posted here before:

      Thank you for commenting, as ever!

  3. Susie Veters says:

    Did you watch the Passion musical last week? Judas sang this song…

    Sent from my iPad


    • I forgot that!!! What a different perspective THAT brings to this song! For those who missed it, she is referring to a live, contemporary Passion Play that happened in New Orleans Palm Sunday this year…here is that performance:

      Also this other arrest scene with Jesus in “Gethsemane” was VERY powerful, using another contemporary song, Demons:

      Prayer is such a complex reality! Thanks Susie!

  4. Absolutely one of my favorite songs. I can relate to it on so many levels! Thank you for your reflection.

  5. Oh, my! How awesome this discussion thread! For it embodies so much of not only my own struggles, but also those of many, many folks with whom I have spoken over the years about whether or not God speaks to us. Especially as it relates to how? when? what? why? and how to respond? Far too many of us await the earth, wind, and fire in which Elijah waited for the Lord. Most who have been blessed with an encounter with Christ come to know that He can only be found in that “still, small voice” (to which you recently referred) seeking audience in the cacophony of modernity’s nonsense. Unfortunately, it far too often involves enduring Pharaoh’s final plague to be awakened to the reality of His presence among us.

    And here is where I agree with Jen, for far too many of us ignore prospective encounters as only “noise” amid the noise, seeing them as a fleeting fancy, a good feeling among the awful bad, a nice, but futile—and rare—visitation undeserving of attention amid all of the really “important” stuff going on in life, mere nagging perturbations unworthy of time, ad nauseam. And that includes some of us who might have hit rock bottom whether physically or spiritually. To me, the bottom line is that all of these are excuses to hide the gut-wrenching fear we ultimately must face down in order to have that “deus ex machina”, the “come to Jesus” moment of who we really are in our relationship to Christ. We must, as you so appropriately tell us, ourselves BE that still, small voice, using all the tools available at our disposal to help (break the hard clods) facilitate that one encounter that will help pull the sinner (including ourselves) up out of the cesspool of sin. In today’s brilliant example, I happily re-discover some things to use on folks having a difficult time truly believing that, in order to be healed, they must “Let Go, and Let God!” and “Seek Him while (where) He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6).

    Over the last several weeks, I have prepared a number of responses to your many posts re music, its lyrics, and what they mean to you spiritually (this suffices for all). But mostly in the sense that you offer places where and while The Lord indeed may be found. Your analyses of the songs (and these included here) have been inspirational and, for me, spot on. Music, as I have often written, has always served as spiritual grounding for me. It still does in a tremendous way. What you have included herein is truly medicine for sick souls. As you and your followers have noted in their comments, music can reach the soul well before beautiful homilies can, well before the words contained within can be absorbed. Music can quickly and truly offer a special place in which to abundantly fulfill our need for Christ in our lives, regardless of what that might be. For an old guy of my generation, the 1970’s rock opera, “Jesus Christ, Superstar”, awakened me to some stark conclusions I had to make about my faith—in spite of the fact that many labeled the Weber/Rice musical blasphemous. The most jarring for me is the Garden of Gethsemane scene where Jesus prays to His Father to remove “this cup of poison”. (“Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say”)).

    Once I came to understand what those whispers were inside all of the hubbub, it dawned on me that the ONLY person capable of removing my personal cup of poison was that “Hound of Heaven” fiercely stalking me until I submitted and humbly whispered back, “Thy Will be done.”

    May the Risen Christ of Easter time be with each of you in abundance.

    • Thank you for this rich feast DD!!! I am overwhelmed by this small faith community that pours gold into this blog. Thank you esp for the comments on music. Your soul sings, DD.
      Peace and all good in the Risen Jesus, DrT

  6. Nos says:

    “D.D” .put in the simplest of terms… !!! You rock … you and “j ” need to collaborate on a book of redemptive grace … I’m saving my pennies to buy not the book but both your notes… laughing out loud really hard…what a read that will be…
    Thomas speaking of books , do you have your book anywhere near completion … the wealth of holy insight GOD has provided to you could help so so so many searching souls… love the jew…

    ALLISON , give the twins a hug , your a hero to me…

    • I promise I am trying to write it, NOS. My admin work and familia make it very hard to do more than my bullets here. I will press on. Thanks for the encouragement. It does not fall on deaf ears. God love you, tn

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