Sometimes the most amazing openings come unannounced. Just suddenly they’re there having their way with me. This was one of those times. May this story bring hope and sweet joy to your heart as well . . .
I’d started feeling overwhelmed lately with what’d seemed to be one calamity after another: the reemergence of COVID through the rise of the delta variant—in particular seeing so many children becoming sick; the erratic weather patterns raging across our land effecting so many families in devastating ways; the growing divide in truth–telling between the political right and left creating deepening stress fractures in the very foundation of our democracy; the unbearable, tragic, witnessing of our Afghan brothers and sisters trying so desperately to escape impending Taliban rule as our brave soldiers continue to stand guard monitoring the doorway to freedom. Add to all of this any personal challenges we may be facing and, well, it was just all starting to feel down right crushing to my fledging spirit. What else?????
So today, I decided it was time for serious action and took myself out for one of those long walks on a trail in a near–by park. I put on my favorite pink sweatshirt—the one with black letters, amour, (Spanish for love) and a rose on the front, pulled on my comfy cut–off jeans, and slipped into my favorite walking shoes. Last, I grabbed my headphones and iPod.
I decided to put on Sing Allelu. As you may know, Ah is the sacred sound current of the One called by many names. Christians sing Alleluia praising Abba, Aramaic for father. Jews call out to Yahweh, O God of Israel. Muslims chant la illah ila allah declaring Allah to be the only God. Hindus intone Atman, the universal God–self of each person. So, when I listen to Sing Allelu, one of the first Christian hymns, I think of the Ah . . . the One who cannot be fully known but to whom we can, most unabashedly with no holds barred, sing to, sing about, and sing with!
So, off I went progressively picking up speed until I could barely hold back from skipping. Now, when I walk, I am somewhat aware of those close–by as I do tend to sing along with my music. But today, I didn’t care so much. And then, about ten minutes in, I suddenly saw a feather just out in front of me. Small but impossible to miss. Ah, (no pun intended😊) but this was no ordinary feather. It was a dove’s feather.
Feeling most certain that I’d just struck gold—or, even better, a chord with the Holy Spirit—there was no holding back! My heart did open wide to see Your face—now everywhere before me! From the ones passing who looked at me smiling to others who simply looked away. No matter. Now, I could now see Your face everywhere. Even the stone people, tree spirits, high–flying hawks, and the still canal waters had joined in.
Sing Allelu Sing Allelu . . . We rejoice in Your love most high . . .
In Your Light You shine forever . . . shine in us O Lord forever,
We’re the light to the world Allelu!
Suddenly, all the world was singing and I allowed myself to just be moved along on the gathering winds beneath my feet, guided now by the feather directing, compelling, my every step. For my beloved feather had become something like a conductor’s baton as I, now full of fervor, imagined directing all those who could to rise up and join in the chorus—to sing out loud and free—We’re the light to the world Allelu! Yes! We’re the light to the world, you and I, right here and now, in the park, in the subway, in a crowd, in our solitude, in our laughter, in our tears, in the midst of deep challenge and suffering, in the heart of joy and gratitude. No matter who we are, where we are, or what may be happening in our lives or beyond, we are still, unequivocally, unmistakably, unapologetically, the light to the world!
And I could feel the holy spirit in my feather directing those gathering winds to move across time and space to wisp gently up against all those who were suffering; to soothe the unnamable; calm the heart spasms; restore peace to those too weary to get up; and, to deliver a song of love to all who’d forgotten they could sing.
Sing Allelu Sing Allelu
We’re the light to the world Allelu!
Thank you blessed dove for your feather and for the power of the Holy Spirit it brought reminding me, us, all the world, that we are each, indeed, the light of the world and, most blessedly. . . for the remembrance that we can, together, raise up one voice to. . .