Notes from Jan

What’s Your Song?

July 5, 2019

The Seagull fished off the back of the pickup truck, picnicking from an open cooler. The driver, stuck in Gloucester’s 4th of July traffic, kept time to a tune he alone heard, oblivious to the feeding frenzy fascinating me. Remembering Finding Dory convinced me I heard one bloated bird fly away screeching his favorite song, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

Let the gull grin and gloat. No problem for a bird. It’s a big problem when a nation’s theme song becomes “Mine” or “My Way.” We’re trending in the wrong direction, becoming isolationists, greedy feasters on the world’s resources and protectors of self at the peril of our global family and confused friends. I fear we’ve been lured by the wrong tune, played by a piper without scruples.

We, the people, need to heed the music we march to and the direction in which we’re headed. Senator John McCain and others challenged us with, “We’re better than this.” The songs we sing and dance to, the leaders we follow, shape us. The better ones inspire us to be and do better. Take John Newton’s Amazing Grace. Transformational in his life and many others, with personal and global ramifications when Newton encountered God and realized, “I’m the wretched one, lost and blind” and need to be found, forgiven and healed by Grace.

Sometimes Grace comes through a child.

Hugh sits with his family on the other side of the aisle and down a few rows from me at church but for the past few Sundays we connected eye to eye as we sang this post-communion song:

“Peace I leave with you, my friends, peace the world cannot give.

Peace I leave with you, my friends, so that your joy be ever full…”

Last Sunday Hugh and his Mommy took a quick break between the end of communion and the piece we love singing. Hearing the music, Hugh raced back in squealing, “That’s my song!”

Imagine what’s possible if we who sit on opposite sides of aisles risked eye contact, then sang wholeheartedly, “Peace I leave with you, my friends…so that your joy be ever full.”

Sure beats screeching, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

That’s for the birds.

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  • Reply Radina Welton July 5, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Wow! This took my breath away, Jan! I shall save it for when in some specific circumstance it might be needed. Right now the general public surely needs this message

  • Reply Jan Carlberg July 6, 2019 at 10:25 am

    The 4th of July is an appropriate time to take an honest look at what we can celebrate in this country and what we need to change. Goodness feeds greatness in people and nations. God is Good. Thanks for reading and sharing your words, Radina.

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