if you would come back Home.


Can you believe it?  This is my 50th blog!  I’m so excited and I’ve been saving this song for such an awesome occasion.  Be forewarned, this blog is going to be epic because not only is this song just that awesome, but its my 50th blog and such a milestone deserves an awesome blog!

Song: If You Would Come Back Home
Artist: William Fitzsimmons
Lyrics:

There’s room between your heart
And the chair where I’ve been sleeping
The place that we called home
Will someday watch you leaving

There’s room between today
And the last time that I saw you
The pictures in my brain
Will fade until I lose you

If you would come back home
We could start all over
If you would come back home
I swear it would be better

There’s room left in the house
There’s food still in the pantry
I could fix you lunch
Or take you out for coffee

If you would come back home
We could start all over
If you would come back home
I swear it would be better

(4x)

Call the surgeon.
Mend the pieces.

I’ve been obsessed with this song for weeks now.  In fact, last week I listened to it on repeat for God only knows how many hours.  The way William sings demands that you listen because his voice is only barely above the music and yet its so calming to listen to him.  This is the first song of his I really got into and it is so rich with meaning on so many levels that I’m going to divide my thoughts about it into two parts:

Part One: Humans talking to God.
Let me first begin by telling you the story (as well as I know it) behind this song.  William’s wife left him at some point for some reason that I do not know so this song came out of that pain, that time of uncertainty.  However, I think this song also works well as a prayer.  We say (or sing) to God, “there’s room between Your heart and the chair where I’ve been sleeping.”  We put ourselves away from God, we remove ourselves from His love by our choices and our sins.  We feel like we are in the doghouse and that we are stuck sleeping in the chair and we feel as though there is so much room between that chair and His heart…sometimes that space feels too big for us to fill.  “The place that we called home will someday watch you leaving…” we call our hearts the home of God, for as John Eldredge says in nearly all of his books that I’ve read thus far, the heart is the dwelling place of God.  We feel (or maybe just me, but I’m choosing to generalize these feelings) as though we will watch God leave.  Sometimes we feel like we’ve done something so horrible, so terrible, that God will certainly leave us this time.  We grow so accustomed to people leaving us in their disappointment that we, in turn, expect the same treatment from God, and so we feel that “the place we called home” (our hearts) will someday watch God leave.  We are saddened by this thought but at the same time we don’t know how to escape these feelings of worthlessness and shame.

“There’s room between today and the last time that I saw You.”  Isn’t there always room?  Don’t we create this space between us and the last time we really connected with God?  Isn’t it easier sometimes to push God away because we foolishly think we can handle life on our own?  We lose God because we push Him away.  The pictures in our minds fade until we lose Him…or until we decide to bridge that gap.  There is never a gap between God’s heart and ours.  There can be a gap between our heart and God’s because we try to distance ourself from a love we all too often feel unworthy of.

Then we pray, we pray in our desperation, we pray in our worthlessness, in our shame, in our sin, “if You would come back home we could start all over.  If You would come back home, I swear it would be better.”  If You would come back into my heart, even though I pushed You away, I know we could start all over.  Your love is so amazing that You are willing to forgive me, You were willing to forgive even as You hung on the cross and I know that if You would come back to my heart, to Your home in my heart that we could start all over.  I know that in this starting over things would be better, for You would be alive in me and I would be alive in You.

“There’s room left in the house, there’s food still in the pantry, I could fix You lunch, or take You out for coffee…”  Don’t we all try to small talk God?  We sense (consciously or unconsciously) that He is really trying to stir our hearts, to show us something deep and profound, but we fear such a radical revelation from the Maker of the Universe…so we small talk with God.  There’s food in the pantry God…I could make you a meal, we could talk about the weather, we could go out for coffee and just chillax.  But the small talk becomes silly and again we pray that if He would come back home, things would be better.

“Call the surgeon…mend the pieces…”  When you hear this song you basically can’t help but get sucked in at this point.  C.S. Lewis once said, “But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless.”  God is the surgeon.  In the end we call on God to mend our pieces.  Though the surgery may be quite painful, we trust that if He stopped the pain up to that point would be useless; we trust that the surgery needs to be done in order to save our lives, our hearts, our souls.  Let us call upon the Surgeon who longs to mend our broken pieces.

Part Two: God speaking to humans.

“There’s room between your heart and the chair where I’ve been sleeping.”  God sits on high, He sits in heaven on a throne and as I said earlier, we are always the ones that put space between our hearts and God’s.  He’s sitting there telling us that it is us, that there is space between our hearts and His heavenly throne…and He doesn’t want that space there.  “The place that we called home will someday watch you leaving…”  I feel like this could be referring to Eden.  The place that He created humanity for, a perfect paradise in unending communion with Him watched us leave when Adam and Eve fell.  Oh, but dear friends, the story isn’t over yet. 

“There’s room between today and the last time that I saw you.”  Similar to us talking to God, except that He always sees us, but we sometimes like to think that He doesn’t.  We want to believe we can hide from God, we want to think that there is time between right now and the last time He saw us.  How foolish we can be.  Saint Augustine has so many great thoughts on what it means to be far away from God…”Your omnipotence is never far from us, even when we are [far] from You…to be far from Your face is to be in the darkness of passion…What could be hidden within me, even if I were unwilling to confess it to You?  I would be hiding You from myself, not myself from You.”  And yet this all makes the next verse untrue if God were singing this song to us, “the pictures in my brain will fade until I lose you.”  God never, ever loses us.  EVER.

I don’t think the chorus could be more glorious, more profound unless we truly heard God whispering it to us in the depths of our hearts, “if you would come back Home, we could start all over, if you would come back Home, I swear it would be better.”  I wish I had a dime for everytime someone told me that as Catholic Christians we are in the world but not of the world.  What’s the difference?  We are of Heaven, made in Heaven and bound for Heaven.  If our hearts would turn from sin, from pride, from lust, from gluttony, from idolatry and return Home, He would help us start all over.  We can be made whole again (confession anyone?).  If we would come back Home, God promises (I don’t really think God swears…that just sounds weird) that things would be better.  Perhaps not easier (life isn’t all hearts and rainbows when you fall in love with Jesus), but certainly better with God by your side.

God lovingly sings to us, “there’s room left in the House, there’s Food still in the pantry, I could fix you lunch, or take you out for coffee…”  Funny how this sounds like small talk coming from humans, but when God says it, it becomes an open invitation to go deeper, it is but a door by which we enter our true Home.  I’m thinking about Heaven here – there is room still in Heaven, a room He is holding for us if we would turn our hearts back to Him.  There’s food in the pantry…Heavenly food, the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is that door by which we enter Heaven.  He could fix us lunch…or perhaps the Last Supper.  Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Mass?  Way better than coffee.  See what happens when you return to the Sacraments, especially to the feast of Heaven?  He comes home.  He enters your body, He enters your heart…things get better.

And in the end it almost sounds like He is pleading with us…”Call the surgeon…mend the pieces…”  It is as if He is saying, call on me (imagine a little eager school kid with his hand thrust high in the air because he knows the right answer to the teacher’s question), I will mend your pieces, I will mend your heart.

So what do we learn from all of this?  I think Saint Augustine sums it up well, so I’ll let his words lead the ending prayer to this beautiful song:

“You never go away from us.  Yet we have difficulty in returning to You…Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back, kindle and seize us, be our fire and our sweetness.  Let us love, let us run.”  Come home to our hearts that our hearts may come Home to You.  AMEN.

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