David and Taylor Swift: on wisdom and love.

Today we have for you two partial posts.


David was a remarkable soldier. When we read through 1 Samuel, the accounts of his effectiveness in fighting the Philistines are striking.

So when we get to 2 Samuel 5 and read, “And David inquired of the Lord,” the phrase stands out. So does the response: “And the Lord said to David, ”Go up.'”

David didn’t always lack wisdom, I’m guessing. Sometimes he knew exactly what to do. And sometimes it seems that he lacked wisdom and didn’t ask. But there were times when, in the work that was his responsibility as king, he wasn’t sure. And he asked. And God answered.

Which is what we read in James 1: If you need wisdom ask God. David did. We can, too. (I’ve written about it in “Asking for Wisdom.”)


“Taylor Swift.” That’s what the people in the room said.

The nurse had just asked what kind of music the patient liked. The patient who was close to death. And the people in the room who were with him to the end.

Someone had an iTunes account with a couple Taylor Swift songs.He started the music.

“Love Story.” That’s the song. It’s about a girl and a boy, small town sweethearts. Using the Romeo and Juliet myth, the young lovers in this song meet in spite of the barriers of expectations and boundaries. Juliet’s father finally offers his blessing. The story is happy.

I started to cry, the chaplain in the corner watching three women take turns standing by the bed of the man who spent his whole life facing physical and mental limitations that provided greater barriers and boundaries than ever show up in the Romeo and Juliet myth that was playing on the iPhone.

None of the people in the room are likely to show up in music videos. Caregivers in a facility, they are underpaid and under respected.

But this is a love story. These women are standing here. With the kind of love that weeps when the man who could never care for himself is gone.

The sunset lit up the room.

“No one could have more loving angels around a deathbed,” I said.