As a follow up to last week's Reflection, I offer you these words by Alydia Smith on singing the Lord's song in a foreign land (Psalm 137:4). Think of 'foreign land' not as physical land but as this 'foreign, bitter and reckless' era of COVID-19 that we find ourselves living through.
How Can We Possibly Sing?
By the rivers of Babylon, under the majestic tree, we rested our guitars, hung up our harps, cried on our keyboards, and packed up our horns.
For how could we sing our Beloved's song in this foreign, bittler land?
How could we sing glorious hallelujahs in our unfinished basements and our messy bedrooms?
How could we share our heart's language to muted moving pictures on a screen?
How could we sing, knowing that some of us could not breathe?
In this foreign, bitter, and reckland land,
the requests kept coming and our anger grew.
Sing us songs from back in the day.
Sings us songs from packed churches.
Sing us songs of resistance, struggle, and liberation.
Go find another form of entertainment, we wept, the language of our hearts is sacred. We will not sing to help you pass the time!
Our hearts were troubled.
Come then, our Beloved responded,
Come then, let us sing a song of lament.
And that song of lament...became a song of mourning.
And that song of mourning...became a song of comfort.
And that song of comfort...became a song of hope.
And that song of hope...became a song of praise.
Slowly...we gathered by the tree, picking up our instruments.
Our hearts' still troubled, in this foreigh, bitter, and reckless land.
And still, our Beloved, who is always beside us, offers the sacred invitation:
Come then, let us sing a new song.