I was intrigued by Joe Biden’s speech last night. Among many of the inspiring words he spoke, he mentioned a favorite hymn of his late son, Beau. It captured the faith that sustained Joe in his lifetime; a lifetime of much grief and sorrow. And yet he came through it with his faith intact and achieved his goal of being elected President of the United States after two previous attempts.
This hymn speaks to many of us, but not all of us hear it. Here then is OnEagle’s Wings sung by Josh Groban. Happy Sunday.
It came to my attention today that a Scarborough MP recently died of cancer. Arnold Chan was fifty years of age and a well respected and loved politician who was first and foremost a humanitarian who cared deeply for his constituents and fellow Members of Parliament. He was said to be positive, optimistic and full of energy.
After hearing a replay of one of his speeches, this particular sentence stood out for me…”That is the challenge that is going on around the world right now,” he said. “No one is listening. Everyone is just talking at once. We have to listen to each other.”
“We have to listen to each other.” How profound is that? And how timely? And how to the point…whether in politics, families, friendships, relationships, marriages…”We have to listen to each other.”
These words remind me of a line from the famous poem, “Desiderata”: And listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, for they too have their story.
Some people leave this world a better place by the things they have said and done. Arnold Chan was one of those people just by uttering that single sentence…”We have to listen to each other.”
In his inaugural speech today, President Trump quoted from Psalm 133: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in harmony! He went on to say,”We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.” Read that sentence again…”We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”
And yet, out on the streets, some of these same people he was talking to and about were pursuing violent protests, having no interest whatsoever in solidarity. They were smashing shop windows, causing havoc in whatever way they could. What gives them the right to do that? What are they thinking?
And yet, who are we to talk? Does not this same thing go on within our own borders and indeed, our own walls? Do we speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly or even think of pursuing solidarity, togetherness, peace, harmony, unity; whatever it takes to make our world a better place? Unfortunately, all too often the answer is…not really.
It came to me today that whoever would not watch and listen to the upcoming inauguration with an open mind would be missing something. And then it came to me that whoever does not live life with an open mind would be missing even more.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in harmony! Why don’t we get it?