Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Praying with Kings of Leon

In June I, in essence, emerged from 2 of the darkest years of my life. Those couple of years were spent in self-examination and intense struggle with what I found. I've never known such loneliness, pain, or distance from God. One of the worst things I discovered is that my ability to share myself--my true self--with others is all but nonexistent. This was gas for the fire of my self-exile. I have a life filled with the most wonderful family imaginable, caring friends, compassionate colleagues, and work centered on communing with the Living God and ordering the community of his people. Yet I was completely alone, cold, and blind.

In September 2008 I found a voice for my much-needed prayer. I was watching Saturday Night Live when Kings of Leon, a band I had only known from the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, began playing "Use Somebody." At first I just liked how they sounded like early U2 and were sort of raw and exposed. Then came the first line: "I've been roaming around always looking down at all I see. / Painted faces fill the places I can't reach. / You know that I could use somebody...someone like you."

That was it. God was a lover who seemed to be utterly ignoring me. And my true life, hidden in God, was as far away as he was. On it went: "Off in the night while you live it up I'm off to sleep / waging wars to shape the poet and the beat. / I hope it's gonna make you notice... / someone like me."

Over the next months I clung to this song like a security blanket. "You know that I could use somebody" was my constant plea to God to throw me a line before the dark waters engulfed me for good. And yes, it was that bad. But the song carried me along until the sun began to shine, and the waters stilled. Now the song is getting a lot of radio-play, but my heart doesn't ache so much when I hear it. Instead I just love how tight the bass and drums are in the second section. I'm thankful to have had Kings of Leon as prayer partners.


Unknown said...

I must say this was a bit hard to read for me, (as well written as it may be :). I've been sitting at this text box for about 10 minutes now and have given up my attempt to saying anything meaningful.

Big Bry

robert c. pelfrey said...

Well said, big Bry.

James said...

This is a true worship song sung from the depths of a man's heart. No wonder it touches us all.

Jesus will NEVER leave us or forsake us. It is us who wander from the path but he is with us the whole way. It's the acts of struggling and searching and questioning and fighting and eventually accepting...that truly refines out faith.


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