Who Can I Turn To?

In the world of music there are a few artists that stand out as the cream of the crop. Their voices are powerful, memorable and unmistakable. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Karen Carpenter, Dolly Parton, Rod Stewart. And, another unmistakable voice rises above a very crowded field of talent: Tony Bennett.

As a child I can remember hearing Tony Bennett belt out a great ballad on shows such as Ed Sullivan and Mike Douglas. His career has spanned from the early 1950’s, and at the age of 91 years, he is still going strong. His smooth-as-silk voice transposes a certain type of class, and interprets songs in ways that I think the songwriters had in mind when they composed their song.

One such song was Who Can I Turn To,* which was featured in the 1965 Broadway production of The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, as a rather unconventional musical. I think that the lyrics of that particular song speak to a deep-seated need that each of us have.

Who can I turn to when nobody needs me?

My heart wants to know and so I must go where destiny leads me

With no star to guide me and no one beside me

I’ll go on my way and, after the day, the darkness will hide me

And maybe tomorrow I’ll find what I’m after

I’ll throw off my sorrow, beg, steal, or borrow my share of laughter

With you I could learn to, with you what a new day

But who can I turn to if you turn away?

With you I could learn to, with you what a new day

But who can I turn to if you turn away?

It’s inevitable, each of us will face situations of crisis in our lives. Each of us, in some manner or another, will be told that we are worthless. Each of us will be betrayed in some manner. Each of us will face trials and temptations. Each of us will lose someone that we love. And, when we do, we look for someone to turn to, someone to come alongside of us, someone to comfort us, someone to advise us.

Over the years there were many people to whom I turned to first when in a crisis situation. Some were in close proximity to me, and some were reached on the other end of a phone call. When we’re in a crisis, we need that support, and it seems to me that it’s a natural reaction to think “Who can I turn to?” Now my tendency is to turn to my husband, the love of my life, when in reality, the answer to the question of “who can I turn to,” should be first and foremost God.

God is the ultimate listener, the ultimate advice giver, the ultimate problem solver – I know this! Yet, I don’t always take my distress to Him first. And, I should. He is the star that guides me, He is the one who is always beside me, He is the one who sheds the darkness that hides me. With God beside me I can throw off my sorrow, and find what I am truly after. And with God beside me I can truly say what a new day.

Who can I turn to? God, Tony Bennett, I can turn to God.

“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:15, ESV)

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22, ESV)

*Who Can I Turn To was written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Briuesse

2 thoughts on “Who Can I Turn To?

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