I worked with Amy at St Ignatius parish a few years ago and quickly grew to value her as a colleague and a friend. I’m grateful that she brought her perspective to the How Can I Keep from Singing series of guest posts, choosing an unexpected song and making it seem like the obvious choice.
“Wonderwall” (Oasis) was the theme song for my Kairos retreat in high school. For those of you who live the fourth, I need not say more.
To put it mildly, my retreat experiences in high school formed, shaped, and sent my faith into action. And where has that brought me? My sixteen year old self would not have the words, but she would definitely have had the images to describe a close, personal relationship with God, fifteen years later. It’s a song that grounds my spirituality to this day because I continue, thankfully, in that relationship.
Beyond that, the song seems like a dialog between God and me: God says maybe God’s the one to save me, knowing that there are still those days when they “throw it back to me” but “the fire in my heart is out”. All the roads we have to lead us “there” are blinding and winding and I frankly don’t know where I’m going. I like the doubt in the lyrics: it comforts me in my own and reassures me that God did come to our world as a human being and experienced life as I do. The doubt gives me hope.
In the doubt is the starkness of reality and the shimmer of something greater: something that speaks to my soul in its dark places. I love the light of Easter; the Resurrection; the Road to Emmaus; I need God to say that God is with me in the lonely, scary, dreary places when I don’t know which end is up.
And God shows up. In my thoroughly ordinariness of light and dark, happy and sad, confident and doubtful, God indeed “throws it back to me”, but not to me alone. God consistently is by my side, and so are the people God points in my direction to help me in this ministry and mission and life.
After all, God, you’re my Wonderwall.
Amy Chapman is not a musician. She spends her time cooking, reading, traveling, and directing the Faith Formation program at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church outside of Boston. She will be starting a doctoral program at Michigan State in the fall. Amy occasionally blogs at vintagedomesticity.wordpress.com. Email her at a.b.chapman [at] gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @chapmaab.