Metallica’s “One”: some devotional thoughts

This summer they boys are looking at some of their favorite songs from a biblical perspective. A few weeks ago, they dove into one of the best metal songs of all time – Metallica’s “One”.  Here’s the lyrics:

I can’t remember anything
Can’t tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel to scream
This terrible silence stops with me

Now that the war is through with me
I’m waking up, I cannot see
That there’s not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh, please God, wake me

Back in the womb it’s much too real
In pumps life that I must feel
But can’t look forward to reveal
Look to the time when I’ll live

Fed through the tube that sticks in me
Just like a wartime novelty
Tied to machines that make me be
Cut this life off from me

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh, please God, wake me

Now the world is gone I’m just one
Oh God, help me
Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please God, help me

Darkness, imprisoning me
All that I see,
Absolute horror
I cannot live,
 cannot die
Trapped in myself, body my holding cell
Landmine has taken my sight,
Taken my speech, taken my hearing
Taken my arms, taken my legs
Taken my soul Left me with life in hell

Here’s some of the questions they considered:
1. In a sentence, how would you describe the mood of this song?

2. The song’s theme and lyrics are based on Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun, telling the tale of a soldier who is hit by an artillery shell and loses his limbs, eyes, ears and mouth. His mind functions perfectly, however, leaving him trapped inside his own body. What war do you think this novel is about?

3. War has been a part of our world’s history almost since the beginning (but not in the Garden). Read Genesis 3 & 4 and explain in a paragraph why you think war is a part of our world now?

4. Is God always opposed to war? Why or why not?

5. What about this song do you think is true/right?

6. What about this song do you think is false/wrong?

7. Imagine you are a friend of this soldier from the same platoon. You visit him in the hospital. What do you think you might want to share with him (maybe look at Revelation 21:1-8 before you go talk with him)?

8. Creative writing: Imagine that this soldier became a Christian and believes the story of the Bible. Write a four line epilogue from a Christians point of view (try and rhyme a few lines, but don’t get stuck on that). Before you write, consider the following Biblical people who suffered and how they responded: – Job (read Job 1:1-22; Job 42:1-6) – The prophet Habakkuk (read Habakkuk 3:17-19) – Paul (read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, also 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

And, finally, here’s the final verses as written by the boys.

Caleb’s version:

As I lie in my bed
As I watch the days float away
One thing helps aid my pain
It’s Jesus, holy Jesus, and everything he has done

And Jake’s:
The Sovereign Lord is my strength
He enables me to go onward.
There was a man named Job who was very upright
He put up a great fight against sin.