Thursday, September 23, 2010

are you lonesome tonight?

once i attended a spiritual gathering. the people were all enthusiastic. the spiritual energy was so high. ecstatic even. i was not a member of the spiritual group but i got invited by one of my friends who was a member.

prayers were uttered. religious songs were sung. songs of praise, of thankfulness, for blessings received and for more blessings expected to come, for more problems and life's hardships expected to be resolved by the Almighty, implored to be resolved as soon as He can, if i may say so.

there were dancing, clapping of hands, tears even, rejoicing, and the incessant assurances of the pastor that prayers will be heard and help will come and things will all be right. i have to admit the pastor is a powerful speaker and i know he speaks from his heart. at that moment, i believe there is full honesty in what he is trying to convey to people. he's good at what he's saying because he believed it, and i know that he must have experienced them, those things that he were relating to us that time. at one point, i must admit, he moved me to tears, he moved me to dance, to raise my hands in praise, he made me feel confident and good inside. may the Infinite bless him always!

after the congregation, i and my friend stayed behind for some small talk together with some of the new acquaintances he had introduced me to. they were trying to recruit me to join them. i politely declined.

" brother, we know you are fond of going to spiritual gatherings, do you have a favorite religious song?" one of the new friends asked me.

i smiled and thought for a while at this surprise question. "of course," i replied.

"good. what is it? can you sing it for us?" he shot back.

"i can sing, but you don't want me to," i warned,"i have a terrible voice."

"no, no, brother, we'd like to hear the song, we might be able to use it during one of the future gatherings, c'mon, please," he cajoled me as he handed me the guitar,"what's the title of the song?"

"ok, as you please,"i said as i took the guitar,"it's called 'are you lonesome tonight?' by elvis presley."

"huh?" my new friend was dumbfounded. i can sense it. "is that a religious song, brother?"he asked. the others did not say anything as i started to run my fingers over the fretboard trying to get my proper pitch. satisfied with the key, i plucked the guitar strings carefully. i closed my eyes and focused my sight inside, at the center of my forehead. that's where the seat of the soul is, the Old Masters had taught. and i started to sing,

" are you lonesome tonight?
do you miss Me tonight?
are you sorry we drifted apart?
does your memory stray,
on that bright sunny day,
when I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
do the chairs in your parlor
seem empty and bare
do you gaze at your doorstep
and picture Me there?
is your heart filled with pain
shall I come back again
tell me, dear, are you lonesome tonight?"

i opened my eyes. they were all looking at me. incredulously. the question was there, it was just unexpressed by anyone -- how can that be a religious song? i decided to answer that unexpressed question. "brothers, i said,"that was to me a great spiritual song. why? well, you might not have realized this, but the songs we were singing during the last concluded gathering were all songs coming from us for the Almighty, but this one i sang, try to savor the words, close your eyes with me, as i sing it again, go inside you, think, no, feel, and you'll see!"

i closed my eyes again and started to pluck the guitar once more. i don't know if they ever followed my advise to close their eyes, but i was so fired up now just as i always feel every time i hear or sing this song. i sang the song again, as solemnly as i can ... pretty soon, i can hear the others humming the song, hmmmm, hmmm, hmmm,. i let the last notes of the guitar trail off as i opened my eyes. i know a slight hint of tears had formed at the corners of my eyes.

they were all smiling now. faces radiant, i don't know why, but they look different. i know they realized what i had meant.

"brother," my new friend said," you are right! that is a GREAT song. it is the Almighty that is singing to us this time, it is as if He is showing His willingness to comfort us, we only need to be honest, and tell Him 'Yes, my Lord, i am lonesome tonight' and He will be there!"

i tapped him on the shoulders, and i saw he had formed tears at the corners of his eyes too! the others were still smiling at me. i know, they don't need to say it. it's crazy, but this love song by elvis presley, to me this is a Love Song from the Great Creator, the Divine Person whom we may address as Father or Mother or Beloved.

at night, when i feel lonesome, i hum this tune, or sing it as solemnly as i could, and i feel comforted. i close my eyes, i silently whisper in my heart -- my Beloved, i am lonesome, please return to me --

the Beloved comes to me and i sleep contentedly.


EZ said...

i was moved by your thoughts and how you praised the Almighty with your song of praise....that was indeed a GREAT song, a new awesome experience....thank you for sharing it and giving it a different meaning for me...

sito saguid said...

ez, thanks for this affirmation. if you think others out there will be inspired by this song, like we were, please don't hesitate to share .. i have to go the Beloved is waiting to lull me to another peaceful sleep ..