Haunted by a Song

Do you ever find yourself haunted by a song?  No matter what you do, that song will just not leave your mind.  It’s been that way for me much of the week.  Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World” just won’t let go of me.  I have a thought; I remember a scene; a sense comes back to me and I hear the refrain, “And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.’”

Perched high on a ladder, a grown man yelps in delight as he hold the pinata rope tight.  “I haven’t had such fun in years,” says he.

Shoes that sparkle in the night.

A child’s determined whack to a pinata filled with candy.

“And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.’”

The sounds and smells and sights of Christmas Eve in our neighborhood.  The soft dusk light of a late winter afternoon.  Muffled voices of parents telling their children just how to light the luminaria.  The smoke of pinon filling the air.  The gentle feel of the day and of the night ahead.

“And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.’”

Christmas at St. Martin’s.

*Congregation Albert—a Jewish congregation—serving sausage on Christmas             morning.  “It’s Christmas breakfast,” they say to me.  To them that explains it all.

*Susanna, grinning from ear to ear as she reaches her hand into the candy basket and pulls out a maple sugar Santa Claus—“This is the BOMB” she announce to all within earshot.

*A woman’s face set aglow after a morning spent dishing out eggs and hash                  browns.  “I’m ready to re-engage with the world,” she says as she heads out the door.

“And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.”

A Christmas Card comes in the mail.  On the front, scenes of two boys exploring the world.  On the back—a conversation.  One boy says to the other, “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor just like Daddy.  What do you want to be?”  His brother replies, “A crocodile.  Or maybe a lion.”

“And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.”

A faint voice—age and illness take their toll—“I was hoping…..”

“And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.”

So often we look at the world we encounter and note the deficits—what’s not going right, who’s being hurt, what’s being lost, where we and the world in which we live fall short of God’s mark.  And that’s important to do.  How else can we join with God in lifting up the lowly and binding the wounds of the disheartened?

Remember God’s promise:  I will not keep silent; I will not rest.

But that’s only half the story.  There’s also the story of God’s delight.

God’s delight in God’s creation.

God who counts the number of the stars and calls them all by name

God who covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth

God who makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve humankind.

God who blesses children; God who establishes peace.

God who looks at her creation and says to herself, “What a wonderful world.

God invites you and I to stand where he stands, to see as he sees, to look with love on all of creation.

God invites us into the song—the song God sings with all of creation. 

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