"Every Time You Go Away"
By Deshi Ramadhani, SJ
January 30, 2012
There's a line in Paul Young's 1984 hit that goes "Every time you go away, you take a piece of me." Well, it's a sad love song with desperate tone. Honestly, I don't really like the whole song either. But that line rings so true. It echoes an old saying, "Good-bye is like a little death." I believe, at several points in my life, I did sing that song in my heart. On the other side, I also believe, that others sang that song in their hearts to me as I was moving along my life's path from one place to another.
As a young priest I once worked as a summer chaplain in a Nuns' Convent in Munich, Germany. During my stay there, my sister's father-in-law passed away of heart attack. The whole family was so devastated. Out of compassion, the Mother Superior handed me a little book in German, "Du bist nicht mere da!" In English, it is "You are no longer there!" How true. Either death or just any good-bye, the core of the pain is just that. Deep in our heart there is that cry. All the high-tech communication gadgets that we have today can't help us to ease the pain. We simply say, "You are no longer there... for me... physically."
It wouldn't be so surprising, that in a way, Jesus has sung that line so so so many times to me, and may be to many of us. But why? Okay, from my side, it's part of just being a fragile and sinful human being. Yet, may be another line in the song can explain better. Is it possible that Jesus also sings to us "May be you're too close to see"? Could it be possible, that since we're too close to Him, we take many things for granted, to a point that we can't no longer see who He really is? I believe it could. Returning to Him at the end means bringing back to Him that "piece."