Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Lesson for us All (1.14.10)

"Beni Swa Leternel," they sang. "Blessed be the Lord."
Thus did the Haitian survivors cope during the night.  After the earthquake and devastation of all normal life.  Singing hymns.

Such is the human need to connect.  With each other.  With L'Eternel, the Eternal Mystery.  Such is the mystery of the human spirit:  They sought the Surpassing Comfort that transcends and inhabits the deepest grief, the greatest shock and horror, the Still Presence in the midst of near-total collapse.  The solidarity of singing.  Of strangers holding hands.   On a starry night.  In a city made rubble.  Blessed be the Lord, they sang:  Beni Swa L'Eternel. 

What a parable to learn from!


(Robert Lowry)
My life goes on in endless song
above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness 'round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?
When tyrants tremble in their fear
and hear their death knell ringing,
when friends rejoice both far and near
how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging,
when friends by shame are undefiled
how can I keep from singing?

Bless you, flower! So apt. :-)
Flower this is so sweet. Thank you for the link.
I forgot to tell you this but it gave me another chance to come back.
Thank you for this.
For today, at any rate, so many of the burdens and pains in my life, and those of my family's, seem completely dwarfed by the immeasurable tragedy in Haiti.
I, too, sing when I am scared. Song can provide a bubble of protection around us that can keep us safe until we find strength again.
Wouldn't it be great if these lessons we learn from our hearts being spiked in pain for the loss our fellow humans are suffering could last longer?
If you can't give much, at least send a dollar, or a tenner, to one of the relief organizations. It all adds up.
This tragedy dwarfs everything, as you say. And yes, every dollar or 5 or 10 will make a difference. No matter how small it seems by itself, it's like a voice in a chorus of song. It all adds up!
Peace, dear Wendy. :-)
There are few experiences more terrifying than an earthquake. The ground itself seems to broil in anger and strike out at everything on its surface that breathes. As blase' as most in quake country, I uneasily remember the '89 Loma Prieta quake, and being shaken to my knees in a doorway on Potrero Hill. Afterward, a crazy, snow-white haze hung over downtown San Francisco - construction dust trapped inside buildings standing for decades puffed out like bath talcum. Across the bay, thick lines of black smoke criss-crossed the sky in weird calm, all from burning cars squashed by the Cypress Interchange collapse.
But nothing looks like Haiti. It may be the worst natural disaster in the Western Hemisphere. Our tiny household sent some money to Doctors Without Borders, since they seem so expert at dealing with mind-boggling catastrophe at its most critical level: Ministering to those badly injured who can be saved with swift medical attention. For the living, the priority is food and water. Finally, for the dead, there must be, with dignity as former President Clinton said yesterday, procedures to prevent any health crises.
Everything must happen very quickly in a vastness that begs the question 'where to begin?'...
Thanks for such a wonderful comment SF Curt.
Long ago, in upstate NY, I woke to what felt like the house falling down - it was swaying. And while I have a terror of earthquakes, my first thought was a hope that what I was experiencing was an earthquake, as that would mean it was not the house that was unstable. Indeed, it was a small earthquake - up in the Adirondacks. But that was so tiny in comparison with what Haiti is experiencing - the breakdown of everything - except human solidarity.
Thank you for posting this. There's a deep lesson there, indeed.
Now to apply it....
Thank you for this beautiful
heartsong for the Haitian people.
Something powerful rings us round when
we need it most, lifting up.
Hold on.
Oh, strato, that brings tears to my eyes...
I just want my wife’s corpse,” he repeated. “I know they are busy tending to the survivors, but there is a room full of bodies that I cannot get to.
The song, the chant, the Psalm...these are universal.
I am not quite sure if it is the article, your post or the comments here...
But these lamentations strike me deep.
Yes, dd, yes. It strikes so deep. The suffering. And the solidarity in the midst of suffering. And the anguish of simply wanting to bury your wife, to hold her once more. The suffering here is simply beyond expression!
Bless you, dear dd.
I have felt one (tiny) tremor in my life. It was quite disconcerting.
I cannot imagine 7.x on the Richter scale. It's too removed from anything I've seen or felt.
I sent Doctors Without Borders what I could afford to give them. They were running hospitals there that simply no longer exist.
They do fantastic work in often unimaginable conditions.
I gave to them as well. And CARE, which has ongoing projects for women, children, sanitation. Both groups cover the ballpark!
Thanks, "un" Grouch!
Me, too, though if you can't pony up $35, you have to call them, and wait awhile. The woman was very kind about our paltry contribution; it was sort of embarrassing. Oh well. It all adds up. It all adds up. It all adds up.
Every person counts!!! No matter how small the contribution.
It likely figures in when they do their reports.
Kudos for taking that time!
In fact, there's a checkbox for "other" on their donation page. I used it. It works for smaller as well as larger amounts.
No matter - both our donations are in now. For others reading this who might find that $35 threshold a bit steep, that checkbox is your friend.

What small thing can I do?
Board a flight tomorrow evening out of March AFB in Riverside.
We will search and I will also sing while we search.
Waiting on an Angel
Gosh, I have such an urge to join Doctors without Borders to join the relief effort in Haiti!
Beautiful, beautiful comment. Lovely, lovely music.
Thank you, dear OGD.

And ... don't overlook this folks . . .
If it moves you light a candle if you haven't already done so . . .
Thank you for that! Huge help to feel you can do something concrete....
Merci Beaucoup! :-)
Hey, Therapy, good to read you, as always, you inspire the best in all of us.
Anybody know what the growing seasons are in Haiti?
Would it be worthwhile to send garden seeds, especially heirloom varieties, to Haitians, once they dig out of the rubble and start putting their lives back together?
The Seeds of Peace?
Literally, food for thought.
What wonderful thoughts! Since they are near the equator I assume any time is a good time to plant!
Seeds of Peace. Let them BE!
So wonderful to see you, JEP! :-)
Thank you "not a" Grouch!
I love Doctors without Borders! The ultimate goodness of the human spirit is simply amazing! And I am convinced that goodness, no matter how small it may sometimes seem, ultimately triumphs over evil. Nothing will dissuade me otherwise.
Blessings upon you. And upon all! :-)

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