Well, it’s been a really crummy few days. I have such bad laryngitis that I truly cannot do other than whisper, and have been sleeping poorly between the discomfort from my illness and frustration about a couple of website projects.
Then, this morning we took Scott to the ER with what seemed like heart attack symptoms. Thank God it was only a scare. Whatever it was, it was not his heart. He’s supposed to follow up with his regular doctor sometime this week.
I was too sick to go to church yesterday. The vicar was gone but on those occasions they run a Morning Prayer service and it works out nicely. Scott brought me home the bulletin with the scripture readings, and they were so timely. The gospel reading from Matthew ended with this well known passage,
“do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
And the OT reading concluded with this well known passage,
“the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones. But Zion said, “the Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.”
And another reading was from Psalm 131–poetry from David, probably.
O Lord, I am not proud, I have not haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters,
or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
like a child upon its mother’s breast;
my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel: wait upon the Lord, from this time forth
While we waited in the ER for the results of Scott’s lab work, I read my reading group’s book of the month which is Cry, the Beloved Country. Since those themes were already caroming off one another in my mind, it struck me particularly hard when the main character, a black South African priest hunting for his lost son, thinks despairingly that it seems God has forgotten him and his people.
I don’t know where the story is going at this point, but I notice that in spite of the priest feeling abandoned by God, the author is giving quite a bit of detail about efforts of individuals and groups making a stand against the evil of apartheid and the impersonal ruthlessness of a city incorporating large numbers of immigrants.
Which brings me to another thought intersecting with all the above–the role of people in making a difference, and how it may not be a grand and sweeping gesture, just a gritty attention to what is needed today.
And when I came across a Youtube of “Paul and Peter Walked” I knew it needed to go in this post.
Written by a math professor named Chris Stuart, it was recorded by bluegrass singer Claire Lynch on her 1994 Friends for a Lifetime CD. Claire’s voice reminds me of Dolly Parton’s. I’m trying to say it’s something of an acquired taste, and yet it’s got a fascinating quality to it as well. She sings the song in duet with the Nashville Bluegrass Band’s Alan O’bryant (NOT an acquired taste–very accessible!), and Stuart Duncan plays a soulfully rocking fiddle part. The biting but smooth guitar work is probably David Grier and the dobro–well, that would be Jerry Douglas. It’s a pretty neat little number, and a good, “quit whining and get out there and do what needs to be done” song.
Which brings us around to Memorial Day.
The only caveat I have to share is that the video itself is someone’s casual homemade “music video.” Put it up in another tab, and enjoy the song.
It is nice to know that Claire’s been putting together a new band which includes Mark Schatz on bass. I heard they were super at Merlefest.