Cold and Broken Hallelujah

The first song in my play list featured Steffi Klassen as the vocalist with David Doring playing the background music. (David Doring plays the panflute, and I have fallen in love with this sound).

I’ve heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don’t really care for music, do you?

It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled King composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

In 1984, during a low point in Leonard Cohen’s career, he wrote this song. It became famous in Europe the following year and in the United States, the year after that. “Hallelujah” became the most successful song of his career.

“Hallelujah” is about the sins of King David. Prior to these sins, he was considered “a man after God’s own heart.” David was the psalmist that wrote many of the Psalms in the old Testament.

Because this was the first song that came up on my playlist, and considering the word that “chose” me for my Writing 101 class assignment, Dear Me. Today, I have stopped running. This is my “confession.” I love my Lord and Savior, and like David, I too am human and imperfect and pitifully lacking in my relationship with Him.

Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you.

She tied you to a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

David, was tempted into an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba when he saw her bathing on the roof. Once David had taken her, he didn’t want to share her with her husband.

Much like David, when I was much younger, I was drawn into an adulterous relationship which created a great upheaval of pain and sorrow in my life. I was young, naive, and stupid. No matter how attractive this temptation may appear, it is not, and it is not worth it. As hard as it is for me to confess this, if it helps one person to avoid the pain it causes, it will be worth the shame I feel.

Baby, I have been here before

I know this room, I’ve walked this floor

I used to live alone before I knew you.

I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch

Love is not a victory march

It’s cold and it’s broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

He was an English Literature professor at the college I was attending in Colorado. He was a poet and an author and a hopeless romantic. I suppose we both were. He was in his 40’s and I was in my 20’s.

There was a time when you let me know

What’s really going on below

But now you never show it to me, do you?

And remember when I moved in you

The holy dove was moving too

And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

At that time my husband and I were seeing a marriage counselor, in Colorado, to help us save our marriage. Believe it or not, this “marriage counselor” encouraged me to have this relationship. I should have known it was wrong for me, but ignorantly, I did not.

Maybe there’s a God above

But all I’ve ever learned from love

Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

It’s not a cry you can hear at night

It’s not somebody who has seen the light

It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

In time, David recognized and took responsibility for his sins, but it was after he had sent Bathsheba’s husband into battle to be killed and after the death of David and Bathsheba’s illegitimate child, and later, David’s son.

As for me, it was one of the worst decisions of my life and I cannot emphasize how much I regret it. But it was done and I have had to live with the terrible consequences of it.

You say I took the name in vain

I don’t even know the name

But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?

There’s a blaze of light in every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

As a simple and ignorant human being, I fall broken and imperfect before “Him,” my Lord. I know He has forgiven me and that He loves me. He knows the pain that I have felt and the pain that sin causes. Yet even this doesn’t make that pain or that guilt go away entirely.

I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.

And even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

In repentance of his sins, David wrote the 51st Psalm.

In some small way, this is my 51st Psalm.




16 thoughts on “Cold and Broken Hallelujah

  1. Joy, I loved this post and I’m glad the song has had such an impact on your life. I too have found it has had a great impact on mine. I always think we say Hallelejuh when things are bad like they were for David, but we can also turn that around and say Hallelejuh when things are good.

  2. I found your post full of honesty, pain and redemption. Thanks for sharing your powerful story. I also thought it was very well written. We never really know what life stories other people have experienced, do we?

    • Very true. I think as humans we are quick to judge others without really getting to know them and that is an injustice in itself. Thank you for your comment Tildy. I appreciate you reading and commenting. ~Hugs~

  3. I like how you mixed the song lyrics between your paragraphs…gave the post more impact. My human went through similar, but on the other side. Whatever side, it’s always painful. Hope yours is less now too. 🙂

  4. OH Priceless Joy what a testimony you just shared! Straight from the heart! I LOVE the Psalms of David and his story. Not because he did such a awful thing, but because he found redemption and even after what he did he still remained a Man after God’s own heart! And you still are a Daughter of the KIng! HUGS to you girl!

  5. wonderful analogy. and just as david is remembered for praising God, so too will you be remembered. we, ourselves, seem to want to remember mostly the negative things about ourselves. it is infinitely harder to forgive one’s self than to forgive others, at least for me! you are an inspiration to me. i do not have the nerve to write about most of my falls from grace. i suppose i could follow your lead and forgive myself, because it does sound as though you have forgiven yourself.
    thank you for allowing us a peek into what must have been painful to live through, re-live, and forgive.
    love and peace to you my friend, victoria

    • Thank you so much Victoria, you are always so encouraging and your words are comforting. It is true, it is much harder for us to forgive ourselves. Painful time in my life for sure! I hope you have forgiven yourself as well. I think that David’s story shows that we are human and that God is a loving and forgiving God.

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