Driving to pick up my mom from work one day, we are sitting at a red light and as I look over there is a homeless woman on the side of the road. Approaching the light, she had been standing at the corner with her sign- but as the car rolled to a stop I saw her turn away from the street and sit down on a small rock, and just cry. Heavy heaving cries- deep sobs into her sleeves. I could not hear her, but as she turned her face to the sky in agony I could almost make out her lips crying out to God in dispair. My heart was broken and I was infuriated. Suddenly nothing made sense anymore. Here I sat in this black shiny 2009 BMW, all the works, but I had not a single dollar to give her. How could I show my face to this woman and tell her that I didnt have a dime to my name- but that God loved her? And then do what? Get back in my BMW and drive away? My blood boiled- how could a seeming blessing be such a curse in a time like this. I prayed- tears streaming- my heart shattered- angry I fought with God. WHY? Why does she have to go through this? HOW? How can I possibly sit here fussing about my situation in complete helplessness unable to provide any financial assitance to her and yet I have what most would look at as priviledge? Now it is a curse. I felt embarrassed. I don't know if any of you have ever in your life experienced the suffering of anothers heart- but that day God put her burden in mines. As I looked at her sobbing, it was as if I sat there on the rock next to her. I failed her that day- not because I didnt give her a dollar or 5 or 10, not because I didnt buy her a meal, but because I didn't get out of my car and share with her the most valuable thing I had- the truth of God's love and salvation. The light changed to green, and when we came back around 10 mins later- she was gone. But the impression of that moment, although she may never know, has marked me forever. My heart will always carry a small piece of hers, and I trust that God heard my prayer on her behalf, but I am not satisfied with a cowardice prayer. I need to do more. Homeless is a piece that came from that day, really trying to put mind in a place outside myself. I have not yet finished it, but this is where the verse has stayed as of now. My prayer is this- God use me. That is all- letting myself be in the disposition of God's servanthood and maybe one day God will grant me the opportunity to see her again.
I heard this song a few days ago- and have had it on repeat ever since. The first time around I was caught in a daze between the musical arrangement and experiencing the studio atmosphere exposed on the video. It was that instant click of good music, you know you like it from the first few seconds. Still, to say that I was satisfied with the first play would not do the song justice- the depth of the lyrics are what immersed my curiosity and I found myself mirrored in the versed emotions of musical frontiersmen Stefanotto. He clipped out a few pages from a chapter in his life, strung it to music, and echoed back to me words from my story I could not yet form. Naturally there's a few noun substitutions but unquestionably the details remain unchanged.
Anytime we listen to a song, the meaning formed via our processing lens, through which we not only see ourselves and our world but we interpolate on the basis of our past experiences; is slightly altered to adjust to a refreshed understanding of self. The meaning of this song is bifold for me. Not only can I relate to Stefanotto's bars in the sense of his response to a relationship in his past- but the words "the endless taste of regret," resonated in my mind. The taste of regret IS endless... its bitter. We can never undue the things we regret. Three things in life we can never take back- Time, Words, and Opportunities. This is what cuts the deepest- this is that first cut, the acknowledgement that it is out of our control and we must live with it.
So the taste of regret lives on, but will it die? Can it die? Yes. I believe so. I don't want to live with it any longer. It is not to forlorn and prolong the wretched weight of regret but instead to part from it. Coming to terms with the fact that in my life I cannot take time back, I cannot unspeak my words, or regain opportunities missed, only makes me see that I don't even want to have to do so again. The only way to undue the endless taste of regret- for me- is to be bold and wise. Bold? Why bold? Because it takes boldness to make decisions that we will not regret- they are usually the hardest and they usually call for a pull of character. Shaping of character never comes painlessly. Wisdom? Because it takes wisdom to recognize the value of the moment we are living in, wisdom to speak in love, and wisdom to see God's open doors and run through them. So this song- which relates Stefanotto's story of a relationship dissolved by the time, words, and opportunities taken for granted- really runs like a sharp blade. Its about recognizing that not everything in life turns out the way we want- not everyone we love will see love the way we do- time doesn't heal all wounds it just changes the perspective of its pain and its regret. This is her regret. This is mines. This is his. We want it all- its bittersweet.