Unwitting Prophet (Ghost Story)

by Jeremy O'Bryan

Occasionally an artist captures the complications and details of my life so completely that I’m floored by it. It’s no wonder. God invented the concept of story, then placed us all in His. As I thank God for music and story I begin to more clearly see His role in all things.

For my part, I am a ghost, living one day, dead the next. Reborn, I leave a ghost of myself living out a haunting history. Only Leah and I could understand, each from our own perspective, how Sting’s Ghost Story illuminates our lives. But it is nonetheless a tale of love, regret, discovery of new life and regenerated love – a story that parallels our own.

Sting couldn’t have known this story would resonate with me so deeply when he wrote it. Not all the lyrics necessarily apply, but some fit so remarkably that I can see God. The flawlessness of all Sting’s arrangements, and the accomplishment of his band’s delivery, always makes listening a joy.

Sting takes up no less than 88 111 places in my iTunes library. This song is Track 9 from Brand New Day, a 1999 release.

Ghost Story

I watch the Western sky
The sun is sinking
The geese are flying South
It sets me thinking

I did not miss you much
I did not suffer
What did not kill me
Just made me tougher

I feel the winter come
His icy sinews
Now in the fire light
The case continues

Another night in court
The same old trial
The same old questions asked
The same denial

The shadows closely run
Like jury members
I look for answers in
The fire’s embers

Why was I missing then
That whole December
I give my usual line:
I don’t remember

Another winter comes
His icy fingers creep
Into these bones of mine
These memories never sleep

And all these differences
A cloak I borrow
We kept our distances
Why should it follow I must have loved you

What is the force that binds the stars
I wore this mask to hide my scars
What is the power that pulls the tide
I never could find a place to hide

What moves the Earth around the sun
What could I do but run and run and run
Afraid to love, afraid to fail
A mast without a sail

The moon’s a fingernail and slowly sinking
Another day begins and now I’m thinking
That this indifference was my invention
When everything I did sought your attention

You were my compass star
You were my measure
You were a pirate’s map
A buried treasure

If this was all correct
The last thing I’d expect
The prosecution rests
It’s time that I confess: I must have loved you