Coming upon this aptly titled song this morning (although I have heard it before), was Divinely timed. Singer-songwriter Julie Gold (writer of the anthemic From A Distance) had it on her Facebook page and it put a smile on my face, because of its poignant message and because I have had the joy of meeting and interviewing the man singing it. Pete Seeger is considered an icon of the folk music world and with good reason. He has always written and performed pieces that have emerged from his conscience and his heart. Now at 93 and amazingly spry and resilient, he is stilling singing out strong. Those of us of a certain age will know that he wrote If I Had A Hammer, Turn, Turn, Turn and Where Have All The Flowers Gone? They were staples in my childhood and likely helped to form my social conscience as well.
The past two weeks have brought with it, ample opportunity to exercise our collective social conscience. Here on the East Coast of the United States, people faced an act of nature that brought with it, rising and falling waters, as well as tempestuous winds that caused devastation and destruction. Dubbed “Frankenstorm” and “Superstorm Sandy”, it reminded me of the experience our family had in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew ripped through Homestead, Florida and took our house with it. As it did then, and as it does in any meterological event, it brought out both the best and worst in human nature. Fortunately, price gouging and looting were far overshadowed by altruism and people really taking care of each other and the animals that were impacted by the storm. Family, friends and strangers alike were rising to the occasion, rising above the flood waters, as it were, to offer prayers, shelter, showers, phone and computer charging, food, water, transportation, money. Would that this be the case all year round, without a crisis precipitating these acts of kindness. As I am typing these words, ensconced in my cozy home that has electricity, solid walls and ceiling and running water, countless homes are still without those creature comforts that we often take for granted.
Earlier in the week, in the midst of the Presidential election, folks again were called on to put aside political affiliation and see those on the other side of the divide, as people with different opinions….not the enemy. Regardless of whether you are happy with the outcome of the election, it is essential that we all do what we can to, as I have said alot lately, “feed the collective soup pot.” One person can’t do it alone. No governmental leader has a magic wand. And just as we human beings count on God (whoever/whatever you perceive that Source to be) for our sustenance and support, my take is that God counts on us too to come together and see beyond ideology. There is no room for hatred. We simply can’t, as a species, afford it if we want to thrive.
Last night, I was having a conversation with a woman who has a strong sense of faith that has carried her through all kinds of loss. She is one of the most bubbly and vibrant people I have ever met…smiling and scattering love wherever she goes. She told me that she “loves the Lord so much,” and tells Him (as she thinks of the Divine) that she can’t help but tell other people how much they are loved. She isn’t preachy, she simply lives her faith in her actions and her words.
So, how can God count on you today?
http://youtu.be/cvnsB_kVNYI God’s Counting On Me, God’s Counting On You-Pete Seeger