31 Jul

Every round it seems like it’s a song.

Low Roar’s Give Up on Me.

Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

Alanis Morissette’s Thank U.

Last round it was Singin’ in the Rain.

The songs seem to turn up and connect rather randomly with me, each becoming my worship song of the week, all of them together forming my own ultimate worship set. They come to me like so many divine lyrical love letters or laments as I continue on through what seems like an interminable chemoland.

Being strapped in, accessed, and tethered for the eighth time this morning, I wasn’t happy.

I wanted to scream.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted to BREAK something.

I wanted to yell my bloody lungs out in protest, to pull out the needle, destrap, deaccess, untether and march out to the tune of the Colonel Bogey March.

But I just sat there.

And then I heard Alanis Morissette’s voice in my head again. Another song. And something did break. I ask you, is the Holy Spirit more “she” than “he,” bringing to us the comforting feminine aspects of the character of God in this age of the Spirit? Sorry, detour. I’m on chemo. I’m allowed.

I’ve heard the song many times before. Always loved the spirit conveyed through it. But today it was the Spirit conveyed through it. It brings out a fullness in this chemo dance that other songs have only caught parts of. For instance, for Singin’ in the Rain to more fully express this journey, we would need to see Gene Kelly after all those exuberant movements finding himself sinking into one of those rain-soaked gutters in a stupor for several days. Yeah, that would catch it more fully.

But Morissette’s song One Hand in My Pocket today hit dead on the ambivalence, the contradictions, the bi-polarness of the chemo path I am experiencing. Hits on the overall bipolarness of life, for that matter, particularly of what I would call this God life I’ve been pursuing for some decades now but only this year feel I’m really starting to sense, to enter.

I love how several of the comments on the video of One Hand in My Pocket refer to Morissette being so high during this performance of the song. Perhaps that’s another reason why it connects. We’re both on something.

So feel free to watch and listen with me…and then read Paul’s words via the Message. It’s as if her’s is but a contemporary flowering of the same list of contradictions we all experience daily. Why do we feel so compelled to sort out and straighten up all the contradictions of life, of the Book, of God, attempting to neatly systematize each into an ultimate phony shallow blahness? It’s in the contrast of colors, of alternating darkness and light in life, in the Book, in our experience of God that truth is tasted.

And so as the taste of the saline flush hit the back of my thoat, I found myself singing with Morissette, “Everything is FHYIN FHIYIN FHYIYIYIIIN…cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is…playing the peeeee-an-nooooooo.”

Sheer gift.

Thank you Abba God.


Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details.
People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . .
in hard times, tough times, bad times;
when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed;
working hard, working late, working without eating;
with pure heart, clear head, steady hand;
in gentleness, holiness, and honest love;
when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power;
when we’re doing our best setting things right;
when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed;
slandered, and honored;
true to our word, though distrusted;
ignored by the world, but recognized by God;
terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead;
beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die;
immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy;
living on handouts, yet enriching many;
having nothing, having it all.

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 |  Message


Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Suffering


Tags: , , ,


  1. Jennifer Stuart

    July 31, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I love this song. It does touch on some pretty deep things when you think about it! “what it really all comes down to, is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet..” this song is truly great. Such a mixture of frustrated and also somehow accepting of something bigger. I really liked reading this, and I hope that you feel good soon. I remember my friend going through chemo and how icky she felt, and then bit by bit, she did feel better; and she always had her music!

  2. wordhaver

    July 31, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Yes yes yes!…for me the journey is one of ickiness, fatigue and pain, followed by the exhilaration of being ALIVE. Right now I’m feeling more of that exhilaration, but I know the sinking is coming. Gotta embrace both – and music is a huge part of that for me too. Thanks Jennifer!


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