Never mind the politics.
Listen to the voices. Listen to the stories. Listen for the tension between fear and courage. Listen to the music of the stories, even as you may hear them in a political key.
Read the book of Esther. It’s in the Old Testament. Open any Bible right at the middle and chances are pretty good you’ll land in the Psalms (a songbook of music). Flip backwards a few pages beyond Job and you will find the story of Esther.
Listen to her music. It’s the story of a young orphaned woman who finds her voice. Esther speaks truth to power in a place and time where women had virtually nothing. No standing. No cred. Nothing. She saves an entire nation! And the holiday of Purim is to keep her memory alive. To keep her music alive.
Listen to the music of the women in #MeToo, #TimesUp, Bill Cosby, mid-term campaigns and the Senate confirmation hearings. They’re hearing a drumbeat—a rhythm of freedom and empowerment to share their song, to share their pain, to keep time together. There’s safety in numbers. There’s power in numbers.
It’s a heartbreaking song.
Listen to the music.
I read a poem this morning in Richard Rohr’s devotional in a piece that wasn’t really to do with this. But I can’t get it out of my head. I keep hearing its music.
In Exodus, Moses asks God “Who shall I tell the people who sent me? What’s your name?” God’s answer: “I AM WHO I AM…you shall say, I AM has sent me.”
The great I AM.
So, this poem is inspired by this power of God in us—the I AM in each one of us. The I AM that gives us our music.
a hole in a flute
that the Christ’s breath moves through—
listen to this
This poem sings to me in a major key in the midst of so many—too many heartbreaking songs that make me angry. But it’s empowering, it’s emboldening, it’s encouraging.
Listen for the beat in the tension between fear and courage.
Listen to the music.
Be the music.
Grace and Peace,
*Daniel Ladinsky, inspired by Hafiz, “The Christ’s Breath,” Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (Penguin Compass: 2002)