With an international phenomenon of social distancing in pandemic proportions taking over our daily lives, I am amazed at the human spirit and creativity that has the potential to ooze out of us all. It seems that in tough times our power to choose the good is highlighted as our only road map to hope. That God tenderly whispers ideas to us, to encourage our neighbors and maybe even love them a little better than we were before and to me this is very humbling and full of life.
In my little corner of the world, the UK, it all started with my dad asking me whether I wanted to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow out on the street a couple of weeks into lockdown. I said I would be happy to and since then we have been out on the street every week.
The idea emerged as the nation announced a weekly moment of communal gratitude. People were to step out of their front doorsteps across the country to clap for our NHS healthcare system and frontline workers at 8pm every Thursday. In our little village some family units have made their way up the street to clap and to hear us perform a song, and this has become a little offering of hope that my dad and I, and sometimes a couple of neighbors, bring to our community. Its fun and a great chance to say hello and acknowledge that we are all in this together.
It is amazing the power of music and is a very sweet thing to observe and do with my dad too. We have done a Motown medley, You Raise me Up and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. In the midst of these weeks I have also been writing some new songs that have come out of this unique season in human history. For me, these songs have been outlets of processing hope and lament and wonder at it all. That God is in our midst and draws near to us as we draw near to him.
So, today I want to encourage you to find what it is you bring. What whispers of hope have or could manifest into song, poetry, art, baking, serving a neighbor by getting groceries, offering online workouts, studies, connecting with family in new and deeper ways, and even lamenting some of the losses? What whispers of hope have you loving your neighbor as you love and care for yourself? How might you bring a song to the street, in your own way and bring hope to a world that I am seeing more and more as discovering beauty in the ashes?
Sing your song friends. You are a gift of hope because of Salvation, Jesus who dwells in your midst and pursues you for goodness.