Harry and His Music

By Shirley Remmenga of Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace…  Zechariah 8:16

I was listening to traditional Celtic music played by a four-person band while visiting in Clifden, County Galway, Ireland. Someone in the audience yelled, “Harry, sing for us!”

Harry, a Scotsman, thin as a reed, gaunt-faced, and elderly, was unable to walk without the use of two canes. He needed help to get to the stage. A chair was placed in front of the microphone.

He sat down, shut his eyes, and began to sing.

Everyone became quiet. From deep in his being he sang two familiar Scottish songs. Each word, sung in his native dialect, was clear, on pitch, and beautiful. I listened with awe and appreciation as tears filled the corners of my eyes. On first seeing him, I expected so little of his ability to sing.

My expectations were completely off target. Perhaps I should approach every situation with an open attitude, expectant of the best. I want always to be open positively to new experiences, to see the good in situations, to appreciate people without judgment. I thank God I don’t have to do this growing alone. Will you grow with me?

Prayer for Peace:

Mystery God, we often wonder what will be on the table for us. May we always approach with positive expectancy and faith in your grace. May all our surprises teach us and grow us in peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Each day this week read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child ever born. Ask God for an awareness of the sacred worth of each person on the planet. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you being invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will approach the unknown without prejudice.

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