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Let’s Sing?

Before Christmas a reflection was shared with Inspire entitled ‘Sing Because Something Amazing Is Coming’. The reflection was written as someone was walking the day after the longest night and they noticed the birds singing more than the previous days. It turns out birds pick up on the fact that there are those few extra minutes of daylight and they sing out because it is the first signs of spring. They still have to make it through January and February which are often the hardest, coldest months of winter but they know spring is on its way so they sing! The encouragement that ended the reflection was to sing for one another, if you are struggling others will sing for you and if you’re having a brighter day you can sing for others.

I was reminded of that when I read a poem that was shared on the same day that Ireland announced new stringent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Brother Richard Hendrick is a priest-friar of the Irish branch of the Capuchin Franciscan Order. His poem acknowledges that there is fear, and isolation but that does not mean there needs to be hate and loneliness.

Interestingly one of the first positive things he mentions is the fact that in Wuhan after years of noise and pollution you can hear the birds singing again!

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other 
across the empty squares, 
keeping their windows open 
so that those who are alone 
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know 
is busy spreading fliers with her number 
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples 
are preparing to welcome 
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able 
to touch across the empty square,

We don’t know what the next few months are going to be like, but maybe we need to outdo the birds and sing because something even better than Spring is coming!

Our God could have all the angels in heaven singing for Him but instead delights to reside in our praises sung here on earth, so again…let’s sing!!

Psalm 22:3 ‘But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.’ (NKJV)

Rachel is the Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement. If you would like to share your stories of hope, answers to prayer or prayer requests you can contact her at [email protected]

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