Chicago Drifts Slowly Away

Opened up a Eugene Peterson book tonight, looking for some words to share with my musical worship team, and out popped an Intelligentsia “Buy 9 Drinks, Get the 10th Free” card. It was ironic. I remembered getting that card with a friend of mine almost three years ago when we were at a Willow Creek conference together. At the time, I thought it would just be a matter of time ’til I’d “need” that card again.

Little did I know.

Now, indeed, as the lyrics to the Maida Vale song go, “Chicago drifts slowly away…”

I struggle to embrace my life without sidewalks, without Autumn (I mean, really: you can’t call this Autumn), without the long walks through four neighborhoods, getting the chance to observe lives in microcosm.

I am beginning to doubt my timely return to “home”, and again wonder what to do in exile. Maybe I should take my own advice by way of God and Jeremiah: “Seek the shalom of the city you live in. Settle down; have a family.”

Okay sure, but was Babylon filled with crazy rednecks who were obsessed with college football??!!??

Just kidding. Kind of.

In my darkest moments, I don’t know why I’m here. Nothing “fits” with me here. But this is where I am, and my faith says clearly, “This is not about you. God writes his story everywhere, and your choice is whether or not to be a part of it.”


Girl, I know you’re in need of a hero
But the glory’s never called my name
I huddle at night,
And shy from the light
While Chicago drifts slowly away

And down here on the avenue
Where lovers have waited for years
To come when you call
Put a hand out when you fall
Hiding in phone books that are cloudy with tears

And is your heart blue?
Are you crying?
Girl I’m lonely too
Is your heart blue?

Well you sang your song to the darkness
And the silence just called back your name
Now that lonely song
Holds back the dawn
That can rise up and usher in your day

And girl you know I’m looking for you, girl
Thought I might find you downtown
And your wedding dress
Is stained and torn to shreds
From running ’round with your “other man”

And is your heart blue
Are you lonely
From all the bad times you been through
Is your heart blue

I’ll be your flame
In cold December
You will remain
You will remember our love

Is your heart blue?
Is your heart blue?
Girl I’m lonely too
Is your heart blue…


One thought on “Chicago Drifts Slowly Away

  1. This post makes me so sad.

    It’s heart breaking and yet oddly affirming of the way our lives ought to work in submission to the One who we claim to follow.

    You inspire me.

    I remember you sitting at the bar in the kitchen of the house at the beach, singing this song. It made me cry then. It still does.

    Trusting that God will replace the vacancy in your heart with something life-giving…

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