Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent and Tony Bennett

I Left My Heart in San Francisco
The loveliness of Paris
Seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome
Is of another day
I've been terribly alone
And forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my city by the bay.
I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don't care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea.
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!

San Francisco has always been a special place for my wife and me. We got engaged on a hill by the Golden Gate Bridge at sundown. So, our house and my study at the church are peppered with Golden Gate pictures. On top of all this, Jamie and I got to see Tony Bennett--whom Sinatra called "the best g.d. pop singer in the world"--a few years ago and, of course, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" is one of his signature songs. Many good thoughts of my dear Love.

Lent is about getting back to our “first Love." Over the course of the year, and my life, I have wandered through many experiences. Those experiences have often left me feeling sad, alone, forgotten, looking at lost glory, and longing for something real. My true home is with my first Love, the God who purposefully made us and all that is.

Sin competes for our affections, and we have too often strayed from true love. Lent is the time when we consider our mortality and the mortality of the things we chase after. It all turns to dust—we will turn to dust—and there is no life apart from God. Nevertheless, there IS life in God—life abundant and eternal.

We fast and/or "give something up" to remind ourselves that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. God is our life. God is our love. We should long to hear a word from our Love, to find ourselves captured in his gaze and held forever in his embrace. But he isn't the one who wanders.

So, at Lent, we tear up our "little black book" of competing affections. We drag ourselves off the streets where we've been trolling for something more. And we come back to the doorstep of our first Love. "When I come home to you, San Francisco, your golden sun will shine for me!"


Unknown said...

so, um, does this mean you're coming to SF anytime soon?!?!?!?! hahah :)

robert c. pelfrey said...

We'd love to. Jamie's parents want to take Maddie to Disneyland, so we're coming out to CA soon. If we can get up to SF this time we will not miss seeing the Bay area's greatest up and coming legal mind!

NEW BOOK--An Untold Story: Heroism, Mysticism, and the Quest for the True Self

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings About the Boo...