Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Things that matter (and don't)
This morning, I am moved to tears by two things before I have really started my day.
The first is the story of a man and his wife who lost their jobs and so the man killed his wife and their five children, two sets of twins and an older daughter. Desperate, hopeless.
The second is an email I received from a choir member at my church containing a video of a song performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, which I will share with you in a minute.
In my church choir, there is a small but powerful group of people who insist on changing lyrics if they contain any hint of the old time religion. Not so humorously they are called the "Lyrics Police" and they can make life pretty darn miserable for a choir director. This past Sunday, the choir sang this song that you are about to see on YouTube and one woman objected so strongly to the lyrics that she stayed home so she didn't have to sing them.
We aren't going to change suffering by turning off the TV or cancelling our subscription to the newspaper any more than we're going to end it by changing lyrics in beautiful music. Right now, I believe people need to know that they can feel sad or scared and we won't look away. We cannot sanitize (or Unitize as the lyrics police say) these feelings.
Here's the video.