A Total Eclipse of the Heart

I was in middle school, say 1993, the first time I heard the song.  It had already been blasting over FM frequencies and in roller skate rinks for a decade, but somehow I had missed it.  I heard the song in the auditorium of Mt. Juliet Jr. High during the S.T.A.R.S. presentation. Acronyms were used A LOT back in those days with teenagers.  It made anything cool.  S.T.A.R.S was an acronym for Students Taking a Right Stand. They spoke out against the use of alcohol, drugs, crude language, and other bad stuff. Some of my peers walked out onto the darkened stage wearing black t-shirts with white lettering emblazoned on the front.  Each shirt had a different bad thing written on it.  Heroin. Cocaine. LSD. I don’t know how many of my classmates in small town Mt. Juliet were snorting coke, but the message was clear. These things were bad, and we should turn from them. That’s how I heard the song. “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”  This moving rock ballad repeats the phrase, “Turn Around.” And when Bonnie Tyler would sing the words “Turn Around,” the student wearing the Heroin t-shirt would turn around to show another word on the back of their shirt, like Hope or Promise or Love.  I learned today that Bonnie Tyler will be singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a cruise ship during the Total Solar Eclipse next Monday. To which I say, “Epic.” But, it got me thinking about the song in middle school, the darkness in our country right now, and Abraham.  First, I have been crushed this week. The...

A Greater Story, The God Story

I remember a conversation I had with my dad when I was eight or nine years old. We were sitting on our front porch in old wood rocking chairs. It’s an interesting memory for me because I have very few of the front porch; it wasn’t a common place for us to spend our time. But on this day it was just Dad and me on the front porch. I had been trying to find the courage to tell my dad something that I thought he would tell me was foolish or childish. On the front porch that day, I mustered up the courage to tell him something that I thought made me weird, something I would never have told my friends. I figured he could tell me how to stop, how to grow up. “Dad, I feel like my life is a movie or a great story. I pretend. A lot. I pretend that I am the hero of my story and there are bad guys and good guys, and I fight for the good side, of course. Even at school or Cub Scouts or wherever, I’m pretending it is part of my adventure, my story, of which I am the star.” I didn’t tell him anything about my thoughts of damsels in distress, or my deep fear of the enemy. I didn’t tell him everything. I told him a little and waited for him to reason with me. I waited for him to share logic with me to help me get out of my fairy tale. Staring out into the field across from our house, never looking...