My “Wicked” LDS Journey Part 11: “For Good”

This entry is the 11th and final in a series that begins here. For the full effect, click on “Continue Reading” below, find the music player, and play the song while reading the lyrics.

Story Background: In this scene, Glinda and Elphaba, whose friendship has been severely tested, find a way to see beyond their issues, feel their mutual love, and come to appreciate the role that each has played in the other’s spiritual development.

Parallels to My Story: I think this song speaks for itself, but I will say a few, short things:

  • Anger clearly has its place in the disaffected Mormon’s journey, but only as a temporary place, I believe, and only in proper proportion. We disaffected Mormons are not the only people in the world to have been disappointed–by faith, by family, by work and by country. I’m realizing more and more each day that learning to deal constructively with deep disappointment is not a Mormon thing — it is a human thing. And we all must work very, very hard get over our anger and disappointment as quickly as we can–or life will pass us by.
  • So many of the disaffected LDS folks I’ve met develop deep contempt for both the church, and its remaining members. Most of these friends also would openly acknowledge 2 things: 1) that they were once TBMs just like the rest, and 2) that they benefited TREMENDOUSLY from their LDS affiliation in both childhood and early adulthood. In my mind, our feelings towards the church should be ambivalent at worst. Most of us disaffected should feel some sorrow, but also some seriously deep gratitude for the positive role the church has played in our lives.
  • Finally, a wise person once said, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” I know that I have been changed “for the better” (as the song says) by my affiliation with Mormonism–and the trick for all of us, I believe, is to develop a zen-like, balanced perspective on the church, and the role that it both has played, and will play in our lives.

I hereby challenge all of my DAMU friends to work very hard to get to the place emotionally that this song conveys: a place of understanding, peace, and even love for the role the LDS church has played (and likely will continue to play–at some level) in our lives. It will be hard, to be sure, but it may be one of the most important things we ever do.

I must end by saying that in a very deep and meaningful way (for me), I have been changed for the better by all of you…my Internet Mormon friends. Thanks for letting me be a small part of your world (all 3 of you who made it this far)–and thanks for being such an important part of mine. I love you all. :)

[audio:http://www.johndehlin.com/music/Wicked/18ForGood.mp3] (Video included at the bottom)

“For Good”, from Wicked

ELPHABA
I’M LIMITED. JUST LOOK AT ME. I’M LIMITED.
AND LOOK AT YOU, YOU CAN DO ALL I COULDN’T DO.
GLINDA.
SO NOW IT’S UP TO YOU (FOR BOTH OF US).
NOW IT’S UP TO YOU

GLINDA
I’VE HEARD IT SAID
THAT PEOPLE COME INTO OUR LIVES FOR A REASON
BRINGING SOMETHING WE MUST LEARN
AND WE ARE LED
TO THOSE WHO HELP US MOST TO GROW
IF WE LET THEM
AND WE HELP THEM IN RETURN
WELL, I DON’T KNOW IF I BELIEVE THAT’S TRUE
BUT I KNOW I’M WHO I AM TODAY
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…

LIKE A COMET PULLED FROM ORBIT
AS IT PASSES A SUN

LIKE A STREAM THAT MEETS A BOULDER
HALFWAY THROUGH THE WOOD
WHO CAN SAY IF I’VE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER?
BUT BECAUSE I KNEW YOU
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD …

ELPHABA
IT WELL MAY BE
THAT WE WILL NEVER MEET AGAIN
IN THIS LIFETIME
SO LET ME SAY BEFORE WE PART
SO MUCH OF ME
IS MADE OF WHAT I LEARNED FROM YOU
YOU’LL BE WITH ME
LIKE A HANDPRINT ON MY HEART
AND NOW WHATEVER WAY OUR STORIES END
I KNOW YOU HAVE RE-WRITTEN MINE
BY BEING MY FRIEND…
LIKE A SHIP BLOWN FROM ITS MOORING
BY A WIND OFF THE SEA
LIKE A SEED DROPPED BY A SKYBIRD
IN A DISTANT WOOD
WHO CAN SAY IF I’VE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER?
BUT BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…

GLINDA
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…

BOTH
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD…

ELPHABA
AND JUST TO CLEAR THE AIR
I ASK FORGIVENESS
FOR THE THINGS I’VE DONE YOU BLAME ME FOR

GLINDA
BUT THEN, I GUESS WE KNOW
THERE’S BLAME TO SHARE

BOTH
AND NONE OF IT SEEMS TO MATTER ANYMORE

___

[They sing simultaneously]

GLINDA

LIKE A COMET PULLED FROM
ORBIT/AS IT PASSES A SUN/
LIKE A STREAM THAT MEETS A
BOULDER/ HALF-WAY
THROUGH THE WOOD

ELPHABA

LIKE A SHIP BLOWN OFF ITS
MOORING/BY A WIND OFF THE
SEA/ LIKE A SEED DROPPED BY A
BIRD IN
THE WOOD

___

BOTH
WHO CAN SAY IF I’VE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER?
I DO BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER

GLINDA
AND BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…

ELPHABA
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…

BOTH
BECAUSE I KNEW YOU…
I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD.

——————————

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3 Responses to “My “Wicked” LDS Journey Part 11: “For Good””

  1. Mother Nature's Son says:

    John,

    Thanks for the series – loved it. I found parallels to my story as well. In particular, your comments on Part 9 were well articulated and struck a chord.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. johndehlin says:

    Thanks, MNS. I was hoping it might be resonant w/ someone out there. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  3. Ann says:

    I have read them all, though I haven’t played them all. I have the chance to see the show in June, and I’d like it to be at least a little new for me when I do. But the songs I’ve listened to (this one, and defying gravity) have both made me cry. Good stuff.

    I don’t just watch this kind of stuff. I inhabit it. It tends to make me a little picky about what I watch/hear. This has been worth inhabiting.