So sadly and tragically, the world woke up a few days ago to hear about another terrorist attack, this time in Manchester, England.
Such news can certainly be disheartening and defeating, but I am forever impressed by the powerful strength of love, goodness, and the human spirit to rise up and be heard.
As the author William Faulkner noted in 1950 in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
As I took one last look through my news feed on Facebook last night, I came across a post from one of my colleagues here at Maria College in which he shared the video of the One Love Manchester concert held on June 4, 2017, featuring many musical artists raising their voices in song to present that united front of the power and endurance of love and hope in the face of a terrible terroristic act. When you have a chance, you can watch the entire concert here.
There was one moment towards the end of the concert that really inspired me: petite Ariana Grande (at 5 feet 3 inches) sang one of her hit songs to the crowd of 50,000 who sang along. The power of one person using her voice to overcome the darkness of intolerance and violence was so evident at that moment. Take a listen.
I am reminded of one of my previous blogs about the little bird from Thomas Hardy’s poem “The Darkling Thrush” who in the midst of the grayest day of winter belts out his joyful song full of “Some blessed Hope.” And I think of the hymn “Sing a New Song” I have often sung in church based on Psalm 98 with the lyrics: Sing a new song unto the Lord;/ let your song be sung from mountains high./ Sing a new song unto the Lord,/ singing alleluia.
May we always raise our voices in songs of joy, love, hope, and peace!
Until next time . . .