Saturday, November 29, 2008

Everybody Hurts

A couple of days ago I walked into the nearby White Hen convenience store to pick up a cup of coffee. There was a song playing on the radio, by the band R.E.M. (It might have been the original version, or it might have been a cover version by another band or musician. I’m not sure.) The song was entitled “Everybody Hurts”.

Later, I found the complete lyrics to the song via a Web search. Here are those lyrics:
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone.
As I listened to the song, I felt as if God was speaking to me through that song. You can take that however you want to take it. You probably won’t be wrong.

Regarding the need to “hold on,” I’m trying to take the advice contained in the song, even though it isn’t easy, and even though it’s hard to “take comfort in your friends” when one feels as if there are very few people who genuinely fit that description.

Of course, God is the ultimate friend. (“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”)

But people still need the love and support of other people. They need to feel as if they can share their burdens without being condemned (or, in some cases, incarcerated) for doing so. They need to be able to believe that a brighter day is coming.

Such a belief is far more plausible when people offer help in practical ways, not just in terms of lip service.

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