Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
A person’s deep emptiness will only filled by a relationship with Jesus. Not only will it be satisfied but it will also overflow from the reservoir of life that Jesus pours in. It’s grievous to meet a person at the end of their lifetime and hear them say that their life has been wasted. After all the self-effort to be happy, to love and be loved, they admit to having no idea how to fill the emptiness inside. Such were the words, lately, made by the superstar, Neil Diamond. I can’t shake the sadness from hearing one of his interviews several weeks ago. He apologized to his multiple wives over and over again about how poorly he treated them and how easily he traded their value for his career. He struggles every day with regret.
Though admittedly lost spiritually and a poor role model to our generation, I have nonetheless appreciated his God-given talent. A classically trained and gifted musician, a poetic lyricist and a master at knowing how to sell a song, he wrote upbeat classics like Song Sung Blue and Sweet Caroline. While these have been his most popular, I prefer his deeper material like Morningside ~ and his most famous self-portrait ~ I Am I Said. His ballads are often begun with extensive string prologues to set the stage for the profound.
I Am I Said is, by his own admission, a cry for someone to listen to his pain.
Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king And then became one? Well except for the names and few other changes, if you talk about me The story is the same one But I've got an emptiness deep inside And I've tried but it won't let me go I'm not a man who likes to swear but I've never cared for the sound of being alone. CHORUS "I am"...I said. To no one there An no one heard at all, not even the chair "I am"...I cried "I am"...said I And I am lost and I can't even say why Leaving me lonely still.
Most people don’t know that when they look up into the heavens and cry out in desperation, “Is anyone listening?” there really is. It is not a redundant question. Jesus is Life and the Life-giver. He invites anyone to step into union with Him.
I don’t mind telling you that I was encouraged to write Neil a long letter, talk about his music and his cries for connection, and share the Gospel. I did. I pray he held it in his hands and believe.
Father, You are still the beautiful answer to every cry of my heart. Amen