An entirely new way of being human.

[re-post 2015]

“Christianity is an entirely new way of being human.” — St. Maximus the Confessor

When I worked with the Missionaries of Charity in D.C. in their hospice, one of the AIDS patients we served once said to one of the Sisters, “Where do you people come from?”

She had been overwhelmed by the new “economy” she experienced at Gift of Peace, which, in her words, “spit in the face of the law of the street — ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’.” She said, “All my life, anytime anyone did anything nice for me, they always wanted something back. You didn’t give unless you wanted to take. This is the first place I’ve been where they do something nice, but don’t want something back.”

She was especially amazed that the Sisters and volunteers were able to ignore her initial expressions of bitter ingratitude and anger, and continue to care for her with kindness and patience.

After I heard her observation, I meditated on just how radical the implications of what she said were if that “economy” was lived out in every detail of Christian life. What a strange form of justice would emerge! To this effect, Jesus’ words in Luke 6:34-36 are indeed mind-bending:

If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

It seems, then, that Jesus touts mercy as the justice of God’s Kingdom. Mercy, which is love encountering evil, brokenness, sin, death, and overcoming it.

Where might we even start implementing such an impossible demand? Well, by actively letting go of the need to be thanked, acknowledged or praised for the good we do. By working on refining our intention — the why of your action — from “what’s in it for me, on my terms” to “what is for God’s greater glory,” while trusting in the supremacy of God’s manner, in the End, of rewarding good and dealing with evil.

Sounds lofty and glorious in speech, but translating it into everyday actions is an entirely different experience. Brutally hard, as the present economy is infected by the logic of sin.

In service to purifying their intention, St. John of the Cross counseled his fellow Religious to frequently seek out opportunities to do kindnesses to those notorious for ingratitude. Why? Yes, to help purify their intention, shifting the center of gravity from the needy ego to the God-neighbor.

But also it was to imitate God in offering the unworthy and ungrateful an opportunity to discover in us a new way of being human, pattered after God’s economy of salvation. In other words, by imitating God in this way, we offer others the invitation to be saved.

By looking at us, they can say: “Oh, that’s why I would want to be saved! To be like him, like her!”

Or, even better, maybe I could say that by choosing to do good to those who cannot, or will not do good to us in return, we allow ourselves to be saved by the merciful Father.

And being saved means being made capable of loving as God loves, with God’s love, plain and simple.

While we will always find reasonable reasons for not acting in such a way to this or that nasty, ungrateful person, faith challenges us to risk each day a new way of seeing the world, a new way of acting toward others that makes mercy the new normal. The cognitive dissonance this risk  causes should remind us that mercy is indeed as odd a form of justice as a crucified God is an odd manner of wielding divine omnipotence.

The woman at Gift of Peace ended up being baptized. Why? She said, “if your Jesus is anything like these women, I want to know Him.”

Yeah, that.

Your Father who sees in secret

Wastefulness is the original Christian attitude. The entire Passion occurs under the sign of this complete self-wasting of God’s love for the world. — Hans Urs von Balthasar

Yesterday, we read from Chapter 6 of Matthew’s Gospel, which contains Jesus’ take on how Jews should carry out their religion’s Big Three: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

The key insight He adds to this very traditional Jewish triad is to do them primarily for love of God-neighbor and not for love of self. To accomplish this re-orienting of the ego, Jesus offers a very simple strategy: do all three in secret. Why? Well, when you do good in secret, very quietly and anonymously, it purifies your intention by taking the focus off of yourself and focusing on the God you glorify and the one your benefit (which is saying the same thing). And if there’s anything that’s core about the New Testament, it’s “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

Secret deeds also take away the control you exercise over the immediate “cash value” of good deeds, your ability to milk attention, praise, gratitude out of others. In secret, you give “what’s in it for me?” over into the Hands of God’s re-distributing providence, so He can reward your deeds as He sees fit. In other words, they cultivate the spirit of detachment. This, I would venture, is the meaning of Jesus’ refrain, “and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

What reward? Well, note that later in Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus speaks to the rich young man of the reward which is stored up for him as “treasure in heaven” (Matt. 19:21), the “treasury deposit” reward is the direct result of the man’s willingness to surrender his (earned) earthly treasures to the poor. In giving, receiving. In Christianity, reward is inscribed with the logic of love, which makes my reward anything that benefits my neighbors — their good is my good.

And my guess — the way God acts in salvation history — is that He will use our choicest rewards to benefit those we dislike the most, or who dislike us the most (Matt. 5:43-48). Certainly this is how the Father rewarded His Son’s obedient love — by redeeming His enemies (Rom. 5:10). But the real trick is to live like that divine economy is true now. Because it is.

Heaven should be very interesting.

While this strategy of secrecy in good deeds is not always possible, or even desirable (see Matt. 5:16!), it is a solid ascetical (spiritual discipline) practice that should consistently thread through all of our do-gooding. During Lent, it might be good to choose an area where you are especially (overly) sensitive to needing/seeking others’ affirmation, and strategically choose to avoid and avert any of the subtly (or not so subtly) manipulative ways you tend to use to gain attention, applause or approval.

The Son of God’s greatest act of prayer, fasting and mercy-giving was done on the Cross, in supremely hidden love offered lavishly to His hidden Father for ungrateful humanity. It is the perfect symbol of such Lenten giving.

May my Lent and yours be a living Stations as we strive do likewise.

“For I am compassionate” — Exodus 22:26

In honor of today’s readings at Mass, a few of my personal favorite quotes.

Just as love for God makes it possible to love our neighbor, love for neighbor makes it possible for us to love God. This was a mutually reinforcing mode of love by which Christians achieved perfection in virtue. For [St.] Maximus this perfection was virtually synonymous with divinization. People become like God and assimilate themselves to God according to the extent to which their love of neighbor imitates divine compassion. — Susan Wessel

I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least. ― Servant of God Dorothy Day

[God the Father said:] Your love should be sincere. You should love your neighbors with the same love with which you love me. Do you know how you can tell when your spiritual love is not perfect? If you are distressed when it seems that those you love are not returning your love or not loving you as much as you think you love them. Or if you are distressed when it seems to you that you are being deprived of their company or comfort, or that they love someone else more than you. From these and from many other things you should be able to tell if your love for me and for your neighbors is still imperfect and that you have been drinking from your vessel outside of the fountain, even though your love was drawn from me. But it is because your love for me is imperfect that you show it so imperfectly to those you love with a spiritual love. — St. Catherine of Siena

Such are the souls of the saints: they love their enemies more than themselves, and in this age and in the age to come they put their neighbor first in all things, even though because of his ill-will he may be their enemy. They do not seek recompense from those whom they love, but because they have themselves received they rejoice in giving to others all that they have, so that they may conform to their Benefactor and imitate His compassion to the best of their ability; ‘for He is bountiful to the thankless and to sinners’ (cf. Luke 6:35). —  St. Peter of Damaskos

The question of bread for myself is a material question, but the question of bread for my neighbor is a spiritual question. — Nicholas Berdyaev

There is your brother, naked and crying! And you stand confused over choice of floor covering. — St. Ambrose

If in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be ‘devout’ and to perform my ‘religious duties’, then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely ‘proper’, but loveless. ― Pope Benedict XVI

Who is God?

Matthias Grünewald – Crucifixion. 1524. playbuzz.com

Re-post 2015

I was listening to a lecture by Orthodox theologian, Fr. John Behr, and he made a fascinating, yet very basic point. He said that Christians, before beginning a debate about God’s existence, must first clarify which God they are claiming exists. And across global human cultures there is actually quite a wide variety to choose from. Often, he argued, our description of God remains rather abstract and non-specific, such as “God is good, omnipotent and omniscient.” We use these terms that are only thinly content-specific to set up very specific problems regarding how one can reconcile the existence of a God so-described with the way the world is. The problem is, these qualities we attribute to God beg questions like, “What exactly is this power, this goodness, this knowledge like?” — and if you have left the descriptive attributes without much specific and clear content, the debate will be hard to press forward far.

But if you are Christian, he said, the answer is actually quite specific. Shockingly specific. The answer is God is like Jesus of Nazareth. “No,” he added, “God is Jesus of Nazareth, because we believe Jesus is God made fully human.”

The Christian claim is that the most complete expression of what it means to be God — of who God is — is to be found only in the historical man, the first century Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. Not some God revealed in an idealized, conceptually pristine or generic way, filled with clear and distinct ideas that we then try to “fit into” our experience of this world. Christianity confesses that everything about God is revealed in the most excruciatingly minute details of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. More specifically, he argued, we confess a God fully revealed in the all-too-humanness of Jesus — in His weakness, brokenness, death, burial. In John’s Gospel, the crucifixion is the moment that reveals God’s glory and majesty in its totality, for while His executioners intended the details of Jesus’ torture and crucifixion to represent a mock enthronement, God intended the details of His execution to serve as the most perfect manifestation of what majestic power looks like in God.

Fr. Behr said that in Jesus we encounter the character and manner in which God’s omnipotence and omniscience are exercised, and we encounter the way God relates to our world that He once loved into existence; a world which has fallen into ruins. He added (and this is what I found to be the most powerful insight) that when we try to discern God’s providential care for us in the face of our various painful and challenging life circumstances we must, if we are Christian, look not to our general, preconceived ideas of how an all-powerful, all-good and all-wise God should meet us in our distress to give us hope. Rather, we should fix our eyes on the life of Jesus, found in the Scriptures, to see the real-time workings of God’s providence in our fallen world. He said,

The encounter with Christ provides a new, and yet eternal, vantage point from which to understand one’s own past: we are invited to see our own past retold as nothing less than our own “salvation history.” In this nothing is left aside or glossed over, as being too shameful or painful, something that we would prefer to forget (but which even as “forgotten” continues to act negatively in the present). Rather, just as it was through that which is all-too-human — his death — that Christ shows himself to be God, so also it is through our sinfulness and brokenness that we come to know the transforming and loving power of God; not that we should thereby sin some more, as Paul warns [Rom 6.1-2], but to see ever more clearly how deep our brokenness extends. “It is,” St Isaac of Syria affirmed, “a spiritual gift of God to be able to perceive one’s own sins,” and such a one is greater than those who see angels or raise the dead by their prayers.

To plumb the depth of our fallenness is to scale the heights of divine love. The more we are given the grace to see in this way, the more we begin to understand how everything is encompassed within the divine works of God: standing in the light of Christ, we can see him as having led us through our whole past, preparing us to encounter him. He alone knows the reason why he has led each of us on our particular path, for we walk by faith not by sight (2 Cor 5.7), but it is a faith that all things are in the hands of Christ, and that “in everything God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8.28).

All of this reinforces a final point I will leave you with. If we wish to encounter the reality of God, and not simply a self-manufactured projection, we must come to know Jesus. Yes, so basic! Which means we must prayerfully read the Scriptures — especially the Gospels — at every opportunity, especially in the face of every trial and hardship. In the words of St. Jerome, “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” and ignorance of Christ is ignorance of God.

 

Remembering God with God

Psalm 77 is remarkable for its daring honesty with God, as the psalmist wonders how the catastrophe Israel is facing in his time can be reconciled with the memory of the God of the covenant whose faithful mercy once led them out of the land of Egypt. O God of the Exodus, where are you now?

As a faithful Jew, when one wishes to turn to God for help one remembers. The Jewish conception of memory (zikaron) is remarkably different from how we think of memory now, and defines our Christian understanding of liturgy (the Mass especially). Jews believe that when God’s covenanted people remember, with faith and trust, God’s “wonderful works” from the past, the same saving power of those works is renewed in the present. It’s as if God opens up life-giving fountains at definite points in history, to which all future times must return, through memory, if they wish to drink of that life.

Liturgy is nothing more than this life-giving memory that opens a fresh fountain here and now.

For Jews, the fountain of fountains is the memory of the greatest of God’s wonderful works, the Passover-Exodus when God rescued His people from slavery and brought them into the Land of Promise. For Christians, the fountain of fountains is the New Passover-Exodus, the open side (John 19:34) of our dying and rising God, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Passover, God rescued all of humanity and all of creation from the slavery of sin and death (Rom. 8:18-30). And (amazing amazing) in Jesus, who is God and Man, the remembering of God’s wonderful works by His people becomes one and the same. You see, at the Last Supper, Jesus remembers the Exodus event both as the God who wrought it and as a Jew who remembers and is rescued by it — and at that moment of memory the whole of creation is suffused with (transubstantiated by!) God’s rescue, beginning with a bit of bread and wine … that we dare to eat and drink.

OMG.

In Psalm 77, the author cries aloud to God (hear, yells heavenward in desperation) in a time of great hardship, returning in memory to the fountain of the “deeds and wonders of the Lord” in the Exodus. He faces with radical honesty the fact that the present reality does not align with the power and beauty of God’s past rescuing mercy. He wonders if this means “the way of the Most High has changed”? That’s daring for a Jew! But instead of ending in doubt, skepticism or despair, he does what every faithful Jew does in the face of this dissonance: he liturgizes, he remembers God’s past invasion of history with mercy, and he overwhelms the present with his vehement, trusting, pleading memory of God’s past saving actions. “O God, remember your past mercies, wonders, deeds and do it all again, now, here!”

That is prayer, that is liturgy, that is the Jewish and Christian response to every present suffering, evil, catastrophe: to remember God’s faithful love, His endless mercies, invoking them on the present in prayer and then consenting to allow God to renew them in the present through, with and in us (and not just for us), Especially as we eat and drink in order to become God’s rescue in the world.

“Do this in memory of me” means something very different thought of this way, does it not? Notice it in the Mass next time, memory language saturates its language. It also gives the definition of prayer as “remembering God” a whole new depth of meaning — not a generic memory, but the memory of God’s corpse hanging on a Tree, God descending into Hell and God rising from the Tomb to re-member us into life. Even now.

So let me invite you to pray this psalm with me. First, pray it as a Jew, and then to pray it with Christ who prayed this psalm and remembered with us and for us; and thereby watered all of creation with His unchanging mercy. And then listen to a marvelous musical rendition of this psalm….

I cry aloud to God,
cry aloud to God that he may hear me.

In the day of my distress I sought the Lord.
My hands were raised at night without ceasing;
my soul refused to be consoled.
I remembered my God and I groaned.
I pondered and my spirit fainted.

You withheld sleep from my eyes.
I was troubled, I could not speak.
I thought of the days of long ago
and remembered the years long past.
At night I mused within my heart.
I pondered and my spirit questioned.

I said, “Will the Lord reject us for ever?
Will he show us his favor no more?
Has his love vanished for ever?
Has his promise come to an end?
Does God forget his mercy
or in anger withhold his compassion?”

I said: “This is what causes my grief;
that the way of the Most High has changed.”

I remember the deeds of the Lord,
I remember your wonders of old,
I muse on all your works
and ponder your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who works wonders.
You showed your power among the peoples.
Your strong arm redeemed your people,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and trembled;
the depths were moved with terror.
The clouds poured down rain,
the skies sent forth their voice;
your arrows flashed to and fro.

Your thunder rolled round the sky,
your flashes lighted up the world.
The earth was moved and trembled
when your way led through the sea,
your path through the mighty waters
and no one saw your footprints.

You guided your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

The Cross: Critique of the Curse

Bl Miguel Pro awaiting execution

[repost 2015]

I love the psalms. They teach us the meaning of prayer as nothing else does, inspired by the Spirit and written in the blood, sweat and tears of the sons and daughters of Abraham. The psalms are what Christians means by prayer, and so they populate and animate all of our liturgies and give basic shape to all of our prayerful devotions. As a rabbi I once knew in Hartford taught me, “When a Jew is asked, ‘What does it mean to pray?’ he always answers, ‘Psalms.'” The Catechism #2584 calls the psalms “the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament.”

Even the Our Father, the only prayer Jesus taught His disciples, is really nothing more than, as my Scripture professor in grad school once said, “the pocket-sized Jewish prayer for uneducated and educated alike; a peasant’s psalter. 150 psalms in 7 petitions.” That blew. my. mind. In other words, the Our Father has compressed into it all the major themes of the psalms, including trust, adoration, praise, submission, contrition, lamentation, supplication. Notably missing, though, are the curse psalms. Think here, for example, of Psalm 109:6-17, prayed by the psalmist against his enemy:

Appoint a wicked man as his judge;
let an accuser stand at his right.
When he is judged let him come out condemned;
let his prayer be considered as sin.

Let the days of his life be few;
let another man take his office.
Let his children be fatherless orphans
and his wife become a widow.

Let his children be wanderers and beggars
driven from the ruins of their home.
Let the creditor seize all his goods;
let strangers take the fruit of his work.

Let no one show him any mercy
nor pity his fatherless children.
Let all his sons be destroyed
and with them their names be blotted out.

Let his father’s guilt be remembered,
his mother’s be retained.
Let it always stand before the Lord,
that their memory be cut off from the earth.

For he did not think of showing mercy
but pursed the poor and the needy,
hounding the wretched to death.
He loved cursing; let curses fall upon him.
He scorned blessing; let blessing pass him by.

An absolutely understandable human response to injustice. But in the Our Father, Jesus offers a stinging critique of the curse psalms not only by omitting their dark imprecations, but by adding a single, simple and stunning line that has no exact analogue in all of the Old Testament. As Luke 11:4 has it, “forgive us our sins [inasmuch as also] we forgive those in debt to us.” He knew very well that this would have caught the attention of His hearers, and in Matthew’s version (6:14-15) concludes this new prayer with a coda that holds in stark relief what is new:

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Though this manner of expression is new, Jesus’ critique of the Old Testament tradition of cursing enemies draws on another Israelite tradition, found in its most dramatic form in the book of Jonah. Recall that Jonah, to his chagrin, is commanded by God to enter the heart of enemy territory — Nineveh, the capital of the dreaded Assyrian empire which had utterly devastated the northern tribes of Israel — and invoke God’s mercy on the Assyrians by calling them to repentance before God’s impending judgment. Of course, Jonah famously rejects this call and flees, only to find himself swallowed up by a fish and spewed back on mission, still filled with resentment and anger at God.

Jesus makes it clear (Matt. 12:40f) that this prophetic tale is a (comedic) prefigurement of His own willing and passionate pursuit of us, His enemy (Rom. 5:10), into the kingdom of darkness where He is swallowed up by death and ‘spewed out’ by the Father (Rom. 6:4) to bring to the City of Man God’s unsparing mercy. On the Cross, Jesus became the object of every curse, transforming them into blessings, drinking the poison of sin to become for us the antidote that pardons every sin (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13-14).

In all this, Jesus sets the pattern for Christian life to lived behind enemy lines. After reconciling us with Himself, He sends us out on mission every day into our mildly or terrifyingly hostile environments to proclaim divine mercy by word, by prayer, by deed. By every means. In Baptism, and all the Sacraments, we are joined to the New Jonah, filled and empowered with God’s judgment of mercy, commanded to expend it on the undeserving, the unworthy, the unwilling, the most repulsive and repellent among those we encounter. To us, Jesus says,

But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. — Luke 6:27-36

I will end with a visual reflection on forgiveness and a magnificent sung presentation of the Our Father in Jesus’ native tongue, Aramaic, to Pope Francis during his visit to the nation of Georgia. Our. Faith. Is. Awe. Inspiring.

Cough Syrup and Jesus

Another off-beat, idiosyncratic Neal creation. First, have you ever read this St. Paul “what if” musing? It’s just remarkable!

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead! — 1 Cor. 15:13-20

A dark world aches for a splash of the sun. — Young the Giant

Today I would like to share a brief reflection on a song called Cough Syrup by the group, Young the Giant. For whatever reason, ever since Maria and Ashley introduced me to that song last year (their cover), I have never tired of listening to it, finding again and again new inspirations in its tune, lyrics and music video. Why? In part, I think this is because when Patti and I got away to Biloxi for our 21st wedding anniversary last October, this song was playing on my Playlist as we sat out on the balcony of our condo watching the sunrise dapple the Gulf waters. At that moment it was like time collapsed, all my cares fled and I was surrounded by things that bring me intense joy: my wife, nature and music. Whenever I hear it play, without exception, I am thrust back to the transcendent power of that moment.

An aside: A priest I know emailed me the other day and said he so often finds in “non-religious” music a much more profound and honest exploration of the great existential questions of humanity than what he finds in most pop Christian music. I would concur entirely, and could list 100 examples. Christian faith is incarnate and paschal, taking its point of departure in divine revelation’s full immersion in the human condition.

Cough Syrup is a symbolic fest, though I would not say I believe Young the Giant intends “faith” explicitly. But I am Catholic, so any human search for meaning is already friendly to the light of faith. I won’t attempt a serious commentary on Cough Syrup, nor claim I really understand what the composers intended. I’ll just toss out a few comments and then share the music video/lyrics for you to reflect on. If you feel so moved!

During this Easter season, I am seeing so many resonances of death and resurrection all around me.

Cough Syrup seems to be about the quest for meaning and happiness in life. Universal. It speaks to struggles with depression, despair and a sense of purposelessness. The “fishes” and “zombies,” having lost all meaning and purpose, tempt the singer to return to their shadow-lands. The song and music video are chock full of rich symbols. “Cough syrup,” I think, symbolizes temporary fixes, like psychotropic medications (Xanax, Zoloft) that dull the inner pain. Though these medications serve a great purpose and can allow you to catch your breath, if your crisis is rooted in the collapse of a sense of substantive meaning in life meds will never be able to free you. Those drowning in the gray hues of depression long to spring out into the colorful, hopeful, playful and restorative light of the sun, that most ancient symbol of the rising Christ.

In both song and music video, I see with the eyes of faith a baptismal font in which we both die and rise; a dark tomb holding the dead Christ; a Paschal candle; the rising sun, disciples running to the empty tomb; the immobilizing chains of sin; mind-bending metanoia; a buried treasure in a field; the surrender of faith; redemption as restoration; a foray into God’s prism beauty that inspires Christian liturgical play and sung celebration (Rev. 4:3); knowing the shortness of life (Psalm 39:4).

Oh! The power of art to bring hope, meaning and beauty to a hopeless, meaningless and ugly life.

Enjoy, if you wish:

Life’s too short to even care at all oh
I’m losing my mind losing my mind losing control
These fishes in the sea they’re staring at me oh oh oh oh oh oh
A wet world aches for a beat of a drum, oh

If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now
I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down, come down

Life’s too short to even care at all oh
I’m coming up now coming up now out of the blue oh
These zombies in the park they’re looking for my heart oh oh oh oh
A dark world aches for a splash of the sun oh oh

If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now

And so I run to the things they said could restore me
Restore life the way it should be
I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down

Life’s too short to even care at all oh
I’m losing my mind losing my mind losing control

If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away
To some fortune that I, I should have found by now

And so I run back to the things they said could restore me
Restore life the way it should be
I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down

One more spoon of cough syrup now whoa
One more spoon of cough syrup now whoa