09 August 2009

Fix You

It was an offer we couldn't refuse.

Free tickets to see Coldplay.

Kevin had to work so Riley was the lucky benefactor of Ticket Number Two. (Naturally, I had already claimed Ticket Number One.)

We had a great time at the concert. (This is an understatement, of course.)

Getting to the concert was an entirely different matter. One mile to the venue parking lot took us 48 minutes to traverse.

I had to take Fox because of the whole nursing thing that he's into right now. Besides, he's a pretty big Chris Martin fan.

Before you join the ranks of the thousands of strangers who judged me that evening, let me throw this in - he wore ear plugs the entire time and he only woke up during the band's rendition of "Billie Jean" which happened to be performed by the guys of Coldplay a mere twenty feet from us out on the lawn.

(Actually, the truth is, I felt pretty guilty about taking my baby son to a rock concert. I even occasionally felt stabs of guilt about taking my fifteen year old daughter to a rock concert where a large percentage of the audience was either intoxicated or high.) Judge me if you must.

Really, the concert itself, although a jolly good time, is not exactly the intended point of this particular post.

It's about a song. And an epiphany. And it's about me. And my mistakes.

I love Coldplay's song "Fix You". It's my favorite. So I was really excited (stoked, jazzed, whatever the coolest word is these days - pretty sure those aren't it) when the melody started crashing over the audience.

I had listened to it incessantly a few years ago when it first came out when I was struggling with some life stuff. The song says something like this, "When you try your best, but you don't succeed. When you get what you want, but not what you need. When the tears come streaming down your face. When you lose something you can't replace." And there's some more lines about loss and what not and the chorus chimes in with "I will fix you".

Listening to the song sitting on the grass in Charlotte, surrounded by strangers, I realized something about that song.

About me.

In my mind, I had always associated the person "fixing" me as a regular person - at the time, my husband, in fact. And my heart's cry back then had really been for Kevin to "fix" me.

Wow. What a heavy load to dump in someone's lap, even if that someone is your spouse. The responsibility to 'fix" another person. A broken, hurting person.

And then the epiphany.

I think I have always been doing that. Looking to people to fix my greatest need. Whatever it was at the time. Oh my goodness. How stupid that is. (Or misguided, if you want a softer spin.) Like any broken person can fix another broken person. Like any created thing, human or otherwise, can fix the hole in our hearts. Like anything but God can satisfy our greatest longing to be fixed. Getting what you want but not what you need.

And I think when you put that kind of pressure on a person, especially your spouse, you both end up feeling more broken. Less fixed.

The song sounds differently to me now. I am certain I will still struggle with wanting people to fix my problems. (And I'm not saying God doesn't use people to help us. We know He does.) But I know there is no fix greater than God's. There is no cure for brokenness bigger than God. When you've tried your best, but you don't succeed.

Should I be surprised to find God at a Coldplay concert? At a concert filled with mothers who make poor judgments, sons that take unnecessary risks, daughters that seek acceptance in friends, couples that look to one another for their sole source of comfort and love?

I guess not.

Everything is spiritual, after all.


  1. I love this song, too. And your thoughts about it. True thoughts. :-)

    Marie from Germany

  2. Oh - and i almost forgot: you are such a cool mommy for taking your youngest and your oldest child to this rock concert! (although i am not a mommmy yet, but from the view of a daughter) :-)


  3. I couldn't have said it better and I know exactly how you feel. Apologies to my wife, family, and friends for putting that load upon them.

  4. You showed your 15 year old daughter that her mom is way cool. And she can have fun at a rock concert without being intoxicated. Way to go mommy!

    - t

  5. I 100% agree with T. Its such a wonderful example to Riley that you can have fun without being ridiculous. That is an awesome life lesson, not to mention a fun memory together.

  6. I went to Lilith Fair, and the cool kids next to me were high gay lovers.
    It did not influence to to find my own high gay lover. hahaha... It was pretty funny. Thanks for stirring up that memory! It gave me a good laugh.

  7. i love that you went. love that you took riley...and fox. love the song. but more than all those things, i love that you felt God's presence there. He's always there, ya know.

    and i'm a wee bit jealous. i love coldplay. :)