It's been a busy month - full of change and challenge . . . and then there is the constant barrage of bad news. You know the headlines. You know about the people who are afraid to be who they really are and the people who have been told that they have no right to exist. There isn't just one "people" experiencing this, friends. There are many sub groups of people who are suffering here and there, and it's everybody's job to dispel the darkness here on this Earth. It's that one fact that forces me to have hope.

I have told you before that I first heard the verse spoken during a Christmas Eve candlelight service as a child . . . and when I found that the verse was there for me to take, I placed it in my heart and have never let go of it. Jesus . . . "In Him there is no darkness at all, the night and the day are both alike." We need the inspiration and life of the great, Holy, nonviolent challenger of injustice. The light and life of Christ.

That's all of the big news. The big news should always concern us.

But so should the little news.

The little news is so much more tangible and reachable, why don't we reach? It is the homeless man standing on the same corner two days in a row. Can you see him? It is the person desperately reaching for help and encouragement . . . we say to ourselves, "That's a personal problem" and move on. Can you hear them? It's the child at school who is getting on our last nerve, but we notice that they have no one to talk with. Will we be with them? Have patience for them? 

I'm not perfect.

I drive past the man on the corner. I avoid the person wit the "personal problem." I find ways to move past the child who has no one to talk to when I'm having my own kind of difficult day. And often I don't have a second thought about it.

But as a songwriter, I have often prayed for "a Holy imagination," and so I shouldn't be surprised when images of "the least" are brought back up to me when I try to wear blinders. These thoughts perch on the door to prayer for me . . . uncomfortable, right where I need to walk, so that I can't push past them.

This Fall, in September, I'll be recording an E.P. 

I've been challenged at the deepest level by the subject matter.

I wanted it to be something light, something comforting . . . but that kind of material so often eludes me. I find it almost impossible to stray from the heavier side of our human experience. And here I am again.

It will be called, "Life Cycles," and will feature 3 tunes about birth, death, and release from abuse/captivity.

These songs are so close to my heart and my own life that I have almost hesitated to share them with all of you, but I believe that they will seem close to many of your lives in different ways . . . and that is worthwhile - all of us understanding that we are very much like one another. 

We recognize Christ in one another much more easily when we are willing to look each other in the eye. This is part of the answer to our questions about the news, isn't it? Can we look at each other in the eye? Can we look closer? 

I have taught music to Christian children, Muslim children, children whose parents believe in nothing, Jewish children, Mormon children, and children growing up with things I'd never heard of before - do you know what I have noticed about these children? When they are very young, they don't yet know how to label and abandon one another. They are full of a love for life that we forget as grown ups. And they love one another very easily.  

We have something to learn from children.

Keep an eye out for "Life Cycles" this fall. We'll have a claymation music video out on Youtube and the whole E.P. will be available for FREE on NoiseTrade for quite a while.

Go and notice someone or something that seems like little news. Make it big news. Make it matter.

Peace & Goodness,

OLL



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