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Shot Of The Day

Labadee Haiti

I Can Only Imagine

Ever see someone sing through a storm? A tragedy? The hard parts of life? I can only imagine what they have to sing about and whether I’d be singing in the same circumstance and why some people still sing when life is hard and others crumble or whither or retreat. In Haiti I met this man, singing through the storm. He lived in utter abject poverty, yet he sang. Not because he had to for the few cents someone may throw his way, but I think because he needed to for the investment that song made in his soul. The song was in him despite his circumstances and something about singing it in the storm gave him hope and comfort and joy. Something about singing it was a recognition that his whole life was not a storm but a gift. Something about singing it brought gratitude in the storm. Last week at the funeral of my friend Judi, her husband sang at the service. Not just a murmur, but an all out joyful noise. With tears rolling down his face he sang “I can only imagine what my eyes will see when Your face is before me… I can only imagine.” He sang with joy and hope and bravado. Not because he had to. Nobody is expected to do anything at a funeral other than just get through it still vertical at the end of the day. No, he sang because the song was in him before the storm hit and he needed to calm the storm with the song. He sang because he realized that his wife was a gift and time is guaranteed to no man and he was grateful for the gift for as long as he had it. He needed to be grateful to the gift giver for what he had when he had it and feel the comfort of the song in the storm. Certainly, the storms are going to come. But will the song? Whether we sing or not, the storms will rage in our lives. Part of me says that we may as well sing. But another part of me says that there is something worth singing about, even in the storm, especially in the storm. For it is there that we remember that it is all a gift and not an entitlement. It is there that people gather, comfort, bond, unite, and cling… Left to the pleasantries of life, we become quite complacent amongst all our blessings. At least I do. We wander, drift, isolate, tend to fall asleep… Makes me want to sing before the storm. “I can only imagine…”

Posted: 9 August 2009