Why I Found "You Found Me"


In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving


I was a little nervous when I looked to add the song to my library. Whenever I consider adding a song to my iPod, I do research on the song: I look at the lyrics; I research the meaning of the song, if such information has been published. The sounds, melodies, and music of a song attract me to it, but then I want to make sure that the song has an important message, or, at least, is not vulgur or against my sensibilities. I try to do this as much as possible. Such was my process when I looked at “You Found Me,” by The Fray.


The song has haunted me ever since I purchased it. As lead singer and pianist Isaac Slade said in an interview, “You Found Me is a tough song for me. It started from just a song with a lot of hate towards God.” In another interview, he said: “If there is some kind of Person in charge of this planet – are they sleeping? Smoking? Where are they? I just imagined running into God standing on a street corner like Bruce Springsteen, smoking a cigarette, and I’d have it out with Him.”


Now, I am not comfortable with this premise: “having it out” with God. In fact, I am even more uncomfortable with his depiction of God in this song: I found God on the corner of 1st and Amistad…All alone, smoking his last cigarette. The anthropomorphism is a bit too much for me. But, this is not my view of God, but his. And when he meets God, he says “Where you been?” in a manner, in my imagination, that is confrontational. That is not how I would meet God.


Had this situation been presented to me (as outlandish as that is to me), I would not have been confrontational with God. I would have just collapsed into His arms, crying into His shoulder, soaking His shoulder and arms with my tears, muffling my screams in His chest.


Perhaps the beginning of this song is too much disrespect for God, and that should preclude me from even listening to it. I can understand this feeling. God is so Holy, so Transcendent, so Precious that he should not be treated this way in a rock song.


But, I tried to see beyond this and listen to the conversation that this person had with God, a conversation which many, many people have with God every single day. So many people ask God, Where were you when everything was falling apart? That question is even put forth in Biblical scripture: “My God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” In fact, this question has led so many people to abandon faith and the belief that there can even be a God. That’s why I listen to this song: to confront this question and conversation and see how I deal with it.


I wanted to hear Isaac Slade ask God:


Where were you when everything was falling apart?
All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang
And all I needed was a call that never came


He continued:


Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
Lying on the floor surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late, you found me, you found me


He then continues in his complaint to God: about losing a very important person in his life, the one person – according to him – is the only one who’s ever known/Who I am, who I’m not, and who I wanna be/No way to know how long she will be next to me.


He goes even further, telling God:


The early morning, the city breaks
And I’ve been calling for years and years and years and years
And you never left me no messages
You never sent me no letters
You got some kind of nerve taking all I want!


He then asks again:


Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
Lying on the floor, where were you? Where were you?


Although God, Who has given the singer the gift of life, has every right to cast him down as an insolent ingrate, knowing my Precious Beloved, He would not. He would simply listen to his complaints and let him vent, even if it is horribly disrespectful to do so.


I mean, the singer is fortunate enough to be alive and well enough to rail against God; he is fortunate enough to have survived his world falling apart; he is fortunate enough to be able to speak to God about his misfortunes and tragedies, even though God knows it all better than he does himself. Still, God just lets him scream out to Him.


And there is another side to this conversation: perhaps God did leave him messages, but the singer didn’t bother to check them. Perhaps God did send him letters, but the singer threw them away as “junk mail.” Perhaps God did call him on 1st and Amistad, but the singer never bothered to pick up the phone. We don’t know that, because the singer doesn’t tell us.


Still, the question, or problem, of evil has perplexed the faithful and unfaithful for centuries. The premise goes: if this world is run by an All-Powerful, Benevolent God (which it is), then how can this All-Powerful, Benevolent God allow so much suffering and evil to occur? As I said, this very question has led so many people to lose faith in a God altogether.


The way I see it, the Director knows what He is doing. It will all make sense in the end. Now, I cannot even begin to explain the reason behind all of the suffering in our world today, but I have faith that we are in Great Hands, and it will all work out in the end.


Indeed, this is a very difficult situation about which to write: I don’t want to be tested with calamity. Whenever I think of the story of the Prophet Job (pbuh) and the enormous test he endured, it sends chills down my spine. I would never want that to happen to me.


But, at the same time, our family has been touched with calamity, and I have tried my best to be patient and faithful to the Lord. He knew what He was doing when our daughter succombed to the ravages of septic shock. All I can do is accept that outcome and be patient, hoping for reward from Him and a holy reunion with her in the Garden of Bliss.


That’s why I would never have said to God: You got some kind of nerve taking my daughter from me!


Far from it!


All I would have done is look at His gleaming face and collapse into His soothing arms. And I know that I would have found nothing but restful tranquility and soothing comfort.

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