Look Alive

12 June 2011


Did you know that true Love asks for nothing? Her acceptance is the way we pay... . ~ "As" by Stevie Wonder
I once had the pleasure of meeting four sisters. They were all beautiful and talented in various arts, with the privilege of parental support and guidance, a good vocational, military or academic education as well as entrepreneurial spirits with a wealth of (human) resources to help actualize their dreams. Naturally, they each achieved considerable success in their given careers and were blessed with the opportunities to have healthy families in their own respective territories of the North, West, South and East. Because they felt entitled to more than the bounty they already had, however, they just as naturally earned great difficulty in seeing and optimizing their blessings, sometimes squandering their or others' energy in the pursuit of more.

Meeting either via a mutual friend or per their own volition towards me, I sought nothing of them but acknowledged and appreciated what common threads I did notice as the potential starting points of good friendships. After all, I believe playing it by ear is often the first step in a dance of faith. In hindsight, I better understand that seeing the motives behind our actions is not always easy. To some, an invitation to friendship has nothing to do with camaraderie, but a desire to scrutinize an interest as if zooming in with a camera lens then distorting anyone else's focus; God forbid goodness be seen elsewhere. Maybe because they had grown accustomed to the comfort of being self-contained in their ways and thoughts, true sisterhood beyond that wasn't really an option. To share with or suggest anything to them, even an honest reply of "I don't know", "It's not what you think" or not having the assumed hook-up, was like preaching to the choir -- who already had their parts down pat, thank you very much! I understand. Regardless of how many eligible friends were 'out there', my super-protective grandma encouraged the youth of our sizeable family to make playmates, friends then colleagues among ourselves, so I believe we've all sung a version of that song at some point. We do learn and live better by God's grace.

As promised, I revisited the Shulammite and the Shepherd's union as Solomon enjoyed the alternating, salacious and sagacious influences he wielded in his mundane sovereignty. His book also featured a choir of sorts, "the daughters of Jerusalem", who appeared to both help and resent the woman at times. In chapter five and verse 9, they are said to have teased her devotion and longing, probably never considering the good intentions and trust with which she chose to share with them at all. Asking her why her interest was more special than any other, this type of chiding often extends past a mate to include one's career goals, struggles and even relationship with the Lord. Statements like What type of subject matter is that? So what - who hasn't been hurt before? Enough with all your faith stuff! are so common. I am grateful God doesn't call our bluffs and leave us to reanimate our departed, create galaxies or keep indefinite Lifebreath within and wake ourselves daily.

Landing on a documentary of a beloved singer Deniece Williams earlier today, I realized for the first time that she was also part of a chorus once, supporting Stevie Wonder hence today's opening quote. Another of my many favorite songs, his "Ngicuela (Es Una Historia)", is also quite befitting for this month's theme of Song! In languages emerging from different directions, he resolves -- as God always has -- with the power of Love to leave the temptation of coveting and unlawful charges behind. Whether wailing in due season as the elder asked me to do earlier this year or as inner motivation to maintain the Spirit that God ordains through the dynamics of the next pleasant shower or not-so-pleasing traffic jam, I too am singing and hope the Most High will inspire your heart to make a joyful noise for His glory!

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