Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me Down

Last weekend, I went on a mini-staycation with some of my dear girlfriends from young […]

Charlotte Getz / 6.22.16

Last weekend, I went on a mini-staycation with some of my dear girlfriends from young adulthood. Between the group of us, we’ve suffered (either directly or indirectly) illness, addiction, money issues, mental health woes, parenting struggles, job uncertainties, and marital difficulties – in a nutshell: life. We spent the day at the pool catching up, and then stayed up late into the night (okay, 9:30 or 10 tops) discussing politics and grooming habits and all manner of subject-matter generally considered taboo at the dinner table. We did what all women do when two or more are gathered and rosé is involved. We put our heads together and solved things like world peace, global warming, how to avoid the toxins that are literally in everything we touch and eat, and the pervasive problem of hair-after-pregnancy. Together, we longed for paradise.

The great thing about these girls is that while our time together was a freaking blast, it was also real. And I think we can all agree, shit is pretty real all around us right now.

Any bozo on the corner will acknowledge that – to put it lightly – tensions are high in our country. All of the targeted mass shootings, crooked politics, the faulty justice system, campus rape culture, campus drug and alcohol culture, alligator attacks, rampant disease, and the potential for a combed-over sociopath to be at the helm of it all could give one the impression that “the end” is indeed nigh.

On the drive back home from our staycation, my stomach churned over the state of things, and so I made the rare decision to turn on the radio and drown out the noise. “Don’t Let Me Down” (by The Chainsmokers ft. Daya) was on. This song, unexpected as it may seem, began to lend some clarity to the turbulent waters of our (and my) current life-landscape.

Right now I need a miracle
Hurry up now, I need a miracle

In the face of unthinkable tragedy and both domestic and international threats, it seems like every last one of us is looking for a miracle on earth.

We look to policy makers: don’t let me down. Our neighbors: don’t let me down. Our ministers: don’t let me down. Our spouses: don’t let me down. Our knowledge and principles: don’t let me down. The $500 water filtration system we just bought: don’t let me down, down, down.

I need you, I need you, I need you right now.

But what happens when our senators don’t pass the most obvious bills known to man? – Or when our friends and neighbors post ignorant things all over social media? – When our ministers exhibit love towards a group of people we fear or don’t understand? – When our spouses fall short and when, for all of our knowledge and action in regards to things like gluten and essential oils and mosquitoes, we are diagnosed with cancer or the Zika virus?

What then?

I really thought you were on my side
But now there’s nobody on my side.

Call me a pessimist, but it is indeed a troubling and tiresome time if we continue to solely put our faith in one another or – heaven forbid – ourselves. As people, we are literally doomed to drop the ball or, if you’re a fellow Friends fanatic, to “pull a Monica.” As I continue to battle where I place my own hopes and devotions – right now my hopes are in locking down a house in our future home of California (peace and stability), battling a chronic illness (peace and stability), and in the development of a rogue third-party presidential candidate (peace and stability) – I keep coming up dry, disappointed, and unsatisfied.

I think I’m losing my mind now
I need you, I need you, I need you right now.

And then it occurs to me how similar the lyrics of “Don’t Let Me Down” sound to one of my favorite Psalms: “I am poor and needy…You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay” (Psalm 40:17).

We as a people and a country are longing for paradise. We are poor, needy, enraged, let down, and dissatisfied.

The definition of the word ‘satisfy’ is “To fulfill the desires, expectations, needs or demands (of a person)” and “to put an end to by sufficient or ample provision.” In times like this when we are nearly frothing at the bit for concrete action and satisfaction in the way of systemic and social change, I forget so easily that someone has already come to bring us that satisfaction. In the truest sense of the word (satisfaction): someone has already given ample and complete provision to put an end to, and offer hope in our suffering.

The prophet Isaiah foretold of this person long before his birth. He said, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”

This man was not a political candidate, or a scientist, or a celebrity, or a king. He was a lowly carpenter who literally made the blind see, the deaf hear, and the crippled walk. His name was Jesus Christ.

Jesus did not come to earth, perform a half-miracle and then say, “The rest is up to you and your congressmen.” No. He came to finish the whole damned thing because we are all (no matter how often we share inspirational articles or quote Lin Manuel-Miranda) Monicas. It is hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that Jesus is our complete hope and satisfaction. It feels so abstract. What does that look like here and now in the face of day-to-day hardships, not to mention mass suffering and violence? Like U2 sings, “How long, how long must we sing this song?”

I think it means we cling to the truth that we are not just Boston Strong or Orlando Strong or Charlotte Getz strong – rather, in Christ we have been given a divine strength un-belonging to and bigger than our weary and damaged selves. Like the Apostle Paul says, “This is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

On the night of our staycation, my friends and I ultimately agreed that the only way through the mess of life was to let go of our perceived control – of looking to people and things that might save us. We must put down our yolks, and instead cling to Jesus by the second, the minute, and the hour. I need you, I need you, I need you right now.

We continue to long for the time when there will be no more sadness or death or tears, when water (clean water) will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the dessert. God has promised us this, and to one day make all things new. For now, as Paul said, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). The love of Jesus demands nothing of us and will never, not on our worst day, let us down. “Love is love is love is love, and love cannot be killed or swept aside.” Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.

“O my God, do not delay.”