Which brings me to this point: When I first began writing this next song, I was writing about a loved-one’s struggle with an Eating Disorder, which a counseling team had personified as an abusive relationship with “Ed.” As I was working on the lyrics, I also was writing it to a friend whose “man” had already put her in the hospital twice with his fists, but to whom she kept returning.

But now I see also an over-arching abusive relationship I was also channeling: Elements of my Christian religion have really beaten down the Bride of Christ. With its millennia of crazed, indefensible assertions, graceless persecutions, rejection of the other du jour, preservation of the unjust status quo, myopia, reluctance to embrace meaningful change, and hunger for domination (over women, in particular, and the differently blessed/oriented, in general), the church is starving itself and returning again and again to greedy, abusive leaders drunk with power. I often question whether “church” is the best delivery vehicle for the revolutionary love and extravagant welcome Jesus lived and preached. She needs to be freed of rampant abuse and oppression. I do, too.

In one Bible story, Jesus walks through a group of professional mourners, publicly religious, and cynical onlookers to reach a young girl said to be dead. As he takes her by the hand, he utters one of the few phrases we still have preserved in his native Aramaic tongue: talitha cum – little girl, get up.

Awakening-talithaTalitha Cum

What to slip away from
What to struggle through,
Wisdom sets her pretty face
But let’s me pick and choose.
You’re so mean and lousy…
You make me lousy too.
Jesus whispered: Talitha Cum
(Little girl, get up)

Sheets all tossed in nightmares
Laughter lost to tears.
Days that cost me decades,
Ground up in your gears.
My soul is seed worth saving,
To plant in better dirt.
Jesus spoke :Talitha Cum

That cold, hard rain is falling.
I’m busting out of here.
Jesus screamed: Talitha Cum

What to slip away from
What I must see through,
Wisdom cracked the Good Book
And told me what to do…
I’m on now with my life,
It’s so much better too…

Jesus sang:
Talitha Cum

©2012 Corey Keyes

Awakening Manifesto:

Chapter 1: Awakening
Chapter 2: Gladly Sing the Blues
Chapter 3: Four Bells
Chapter 4: I Get Your Drift
Chapter 5: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There
Chapter 6: Talitha Cum
Chapter 7: Push to Beat the Train
Chapter 8: True Love Is
Chapter 9: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Come In
Chapter 10: Live on Love
Chapter 11: White Road Rag