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Leaving Me Lonely Still

Have you ever listened to the lyrics of a song and totally related to the singers feelings? Those songs are the deep meaning emotional songs I enjoy so much.  They are the songs that you say “I feel exactly the same way that they do!”  If the emotion is loneliness perhaps I am not quite so lonely.  There is comfort knowing that someone else has the same kind of feelings that I do.  Maybe the song is so powerful that it brings tears to my eyes as the lyrics pierce into my heart.  Neil Diamond had a song he wrote over a long period of time in his hotel room.  The song was named “I Am I Said”, and from it’s popularity it is obvious that he struck a chord as to how countless people feel.  It speaks of a lonely feeling that grips deep inside.

During a lifetime it is perfectly natural to go through seasons of feelings and emotions.  We have all experienced extreme highs and lows if we have lived long enough.  It is normal for us most of the time to live on an even keel with an occasional swing from one end or the other.  There are times when we have extreme emotional highs.  Maybe everything seems to be going our way and the world is a great place.  Sometimes something very good happens that causes such elation it takes days to come off of the mountain.  Sooner or later though we invariably slide off of that peak.  After an emotional high it is not unusual to have a very emotional low.  That was the case for Chris Evert the famous tennis player after she won a major tournament at a young age.  “When I won Wimbledon in 1976,” she recalls, “I beat Evonne Goolagong in three tough sets, went home to an empty hotel room and was depressed an hour after the match.

It’s easy to think that these famous people we see so frequently haven’t a care in the world.  How often do we think “That person really has it made!”  What we fail to realize is that these celebraties are people too.  They have the same problems (and maybe even more) than you and I.  Bad things can happen to them too.  They get depressed just like we do.  Neil Diamond is telling us a story about himself.  It relates to so many people because in some way it is their story too.  For whatever reason he is very unsatisfied and not at peace with himself.  He has lived on that emotional mountain top where everyone has told him how great he is.  Living up there in the adulation of people is such a high that it is addicting.  Something happened that made him reflect on his purpose.  He had tried out for a part as Lenny Bruce the controversial comedian.  He didn’t get the part and for whatever reason he crashed into a funk and his emotions came out in his song “I Am I Said.”

I Am… I Said Lyrics
Neil Diamond

L.A.’s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is “lay back”
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin’ about
Making my way back

What Neil seems to be saying in his initial wording is that physically he is in a good place.  The sun is shining and he is comfortable.  His financial situation is good and he had economical living.  It doesn’t seem to coincide with his desire to make his way back.

Well I’m New York City born and raised
But nowadays
I’m lost between two shores
L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home
New York’s home
But it ain’t mine no more

Now we see the true picture.  He is feeling low because he doesn’t feel he has a home.  With all of his fame and fortune he realizes that there is something missing.  He has surrendered a base as a price for his fame. Is this really where the root of his feelings are or is it what he thinks is the problem? It may be something gnawing within him that he hopes will be solved by moving.

“I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

It seems that he states “I am” as a cry out.  He seems to be wondering if anybody really cares that he exists.  Sure there are many people who seem to care but when it gets right down to it he is sitting in his room alone.  How many times have we talked to ourselves in such times?  That is exactly what he is doing and the echoes of his own voice tell him that he is all alone.  The chair seems to represent the people who seem to care so much about him and yet they are only there as a symbol in his mind.

“I am”… I cried “I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still

I am lost and I can’t even say why can be pretty typical.  Something isn’t right and you know in your spirit that it isn’t and yet you can’t pinpoint the problem.  When you sink into the depth of despair like he did it is hard to find your way out.  It’s hard to solve a problem when you can’t diagnose the problem that you have.

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of bein’ a king
And then became one
Well except for the names
And a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story’s the same one

Now he is talking about starting out as a nobody and having his wildest dreams come true!  It is the all American dream of fame and riches that he never expected.  The world sees him as happy and content but he has a different story.

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried
But it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone

Even though he had everything in the worlds view that should make him happy he is miserable as he laments about the emptiness deep inside that won’t let him go.  Like all of us there is a little place deep within him that only God can fill.  The Bible talks about this dilemma.   In Mark chapter 8 verse 36 Jesus asks the question “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

“I am”… I cried “I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still

If you can relate to this song like I can you are not alone.  Millions of people throughout the world love this song because it exemplifies so much of their circumstances.  You don’t have to be lonely.  Wherever you are God can be there too!  He loves you and wants to fill that empty space that only he can!  When you are in the deepest darkest cave know that God is waiting to rescue you.  Whether you are rich or poor, famous or unknown he will not leave you lonely still!

The Cave

by Lewis Hamilton
from the book “The Gardener and My Garden” c1997

It’s lonely in the cave tonight,
it’s cold and damp and gray
I’m hungry, thirsty and so run down
I’ll die in here they say

My friends come and see me here
I beg them all to stay
Oh no, they call as they retreat
We know a better way

I’ve blamed the church, the pastors too,
for helping me to fall
I’ve blamed my friends and enemies
Oh Lord, I’ve blamed them all

When I ran out of people
to point my finger at
I pointed up to heaven
He was the dirty rat

But in that cave I cried one day,
Lord if you really are,
how can I feel so forsaken
and why are you so far

Away from me in all my trials
and troubles here below?
My life has no meaning here
I’m empty as you know

I heard the wind a howling
the earth began to shake
I said, Lord are you really real
or is this all a fake?

In all of the commotion
when I thought he could be near,
I waited as it thundered
but my God did not appear

As I sat in that damp, dark, cave
without reason and or rhyme
A still small voice spoke oh so clear,
I was with you all the time

You will on some days stumble
and crawl along the way,
but I will pick you up again
until you’re home to stay

And yes, there will be valleys
that you will wander through,
but take my hand and hold on tight
and I will see you through

Then he took my hand and led me on
right out of that cold place
I looked and there I saw the Son
with a smile upon his face

Now go and tell the world out there
about the place you’ve been
How you’ve been raised from the dead
and brought to life again

Tell them when they die like you
and they’re at the place you’ve been,
I will touch them with my hand
and raise the dead again.

Jesus, once more deeply moved,
came to the tomb. It was a cave
with a stone laid across the entrance.
When he had said this, Jesus called
in a loud voice, “Lazarus come out!”

John 11:38 & 43

The Little Place

by Lewis Hamilton
From the book “The Gardener and My Garden” c1997

There’s a little place in each of us
that only God can fill
Though this seems very simple
it goes fully against our will

We try to fill this little place
wth things that we can see,
with fame or with fortune
but these just won’t fit the need

We place our relationships
into that little place
becoming so dissatisfied
when they blow up in our face

We place our little idols there
be it sports or family
They cannot fill this little place
where only God should be

We force our job where God should be,
maybe that will satisfy
Then when we feel so empty
we know that it’s a lie

We judge the success of others
by nice clothes they wear,
thinking we are far better
when we see their long hair

Sometimes we see other’s worth
by their body size
We see someone overweight
and think they aren’t too wise

We’re good at putting people down
because of their bad sins
When we don’t have God in his place
we’re no better than them

The definition of success
needs to be redefined
We need to look past what is seen
and have a change of mind

It’s not through wealth or fame,
success is only through God’s grace
It doesn’t start from things we see
but how we fill that little place.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.


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6 thoughts on “Leaving Me Lonely Still

  1. Cyndi Revis on said:

    Another awesome story Lewis. I am so blessed that you shared it with me.

  2. Very uplifting Lewis. Great post and poem. I remember Neil Diamond and loved that song. Thankfully, I know my I AM is always with me. Blessings to you. Leona

  3. Big fan and thankful to be your twitter friend

  4. Very nice Lewis :)

  5. I was so blessed to read this…thanks for sharing it :)

  6. Dave D. on said:

    “I am I said” has always been one of my favorite all-time songs…must have listened to it 1,000 times…..and now I understand why it has always been so special to me. Thanks Lewis for “digging a little deeper” into it’s meaning. Music combined with heart felt lyrics, can be a very powerful tool in God’s hands. It is a Blessing.

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