Psalm 42:8  – Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life.

Gratitude Day 721

When nothing else seems to make sense, sometimes, we just need a song.

That’s all.

A song.

I have lost count of the times in my life when something felt terribly challenging and one thing that quieted my soul was a particular song. So often, I will find a song that resonates with me in the moment, and I hang onto it. This happens by listening to the song on repeat, over and over over.

As a teen, this meant playing the song on the old record player in our dining room. Some of you may remember doing this yourself. (Then, there’s a bunch of folks way too young to know what I’m talking about.) I’d pull out the record that was speaking to me from a cardboard holder. Carefully, I’d drop the record onto the turntable, lift the arm and place the needle right on the little break in the record that was between songs, right before the song I wanted to hear began. As I listened to the song, sometimes I’d watch the record spin around, slightly uneven. Maybe there would be a little skip where the record was worn. And when the song was over, I’d lift the arm and move the needle back to the song’s start once again.

In college, I graduated to a cassette player. A 1980’s boom box usually included a cassette player where cassettes were inserted, and the “play” button pushed. There were no specific designations between songs so sometimes you’d have to go forward and back multiple times before you’d find the beginning of a song. When I graduated from college in 1989, I bought my first “nice” car. It had an FM radio AND a cassette player. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I could listen to the music I wanted to hear in my car. Over and over and over.

When CDs came out, I graduated to a new boom box that included a cassette player with a CD player on top. I did not replace the cassettes I had only if the tape on them broke and were no longer usable. Yes, I still have some CDs in my car that I listen to occasionally. Some of them are worn and barely play. When I insert them, I wonder if they will come back out intact.  

These days, I mostly listen to music on YouTube. I find playlists that I like and have them playing in the background while I work. For me, this relaxes my brain and gives me inspiration. When a song is speaking to me, I will listen to every version of this song available on YouTube. Often, this means different singers or groups performing the song. I find my favorite version and will listen to it over and over and over.

As the events of the world continued again this week, I turned to music. To a song that seemed to speak to everything that is going on. Personally, Hubby Rick and I have been distracted by some other things in our lives and again, this song has brought me peace.

When I went to YouTube to listen to it, I discovered there are no professional versions of the song. It’s choirs or music groups singing in harmony that have recorded this song. I’ve picked out my favorite version and am including it below.

BUT before you listen to the song, please read the words. The song is called, “Inscription of Hope” by Z. Randall Stroope. It is based on words found scrawled on a cellar wall by Jews hiding from the Nazis in Cologne, Germany during the Second World War. These are the same words that my artist friend Bonnie Mohr used when she painted the beautiful artwork at the beginning of this post. Hear the powerful message these words share:

“I believe in the sun 

even when it is not shining

And I believe in love

even when there’s no one there

And I believe in God 

even when he is silent

I believe through any trial there is always a way.

But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair

My heart cries for shelter

and to know someone’s there

But a voice rises within me saying “hold on my child”

I’ll give you strength 

I’ll give you hope

Just stay a little while

May there someday be sunshine

May there someday be happiness

May there someday be love

May there someday be peace.”

   ~by Z. Randall Stroope

Here is the Miami Children’s Chorus performing their version of this song. It’s OK if a tear creeps out of the side of your eye while you watch it.

Supporting the People of Ukraine

If you would like to support the folks in Ukraine but are not sure how to, I suggest going to the UMCOR website and making a contribution there. UMCOR is the United Methodist Committee on Relief and 100% of all contributions go towards relief efforts. None of the collected money is used for administrative purposes. Here’s the link to donate directly to UMCOR:

Finally, A Blessing for Ukraine

Last Saturday, I shared some prayers we can be praying for Ukraine.

If you would like another prayer for Ukraine, please check out this one by author Kate Bowler:

A blessing for Ukraine

God, the unthinkable has happened.

Swiftly, relentlessly,
by stealth and through open destruction,
the peace and beauty of the ordinary,
has been shattered in a day.

O God of justice and might,
We call to you to come and bring this suffering to an end.
Comfort these trembling hearts.
Shield the vulnerable.
Strengthen those with the resources and the resolve
to protect what they love
in the face of such overwhelming force.

Grant wisdom to the nations of our world, to our leaders, and to us,
to grasp the unfathomable,
to see evil in its true light,
and come against it unflinchingly.

Dear Ukraine,
though we shudder to watch what is happening
We will not look away.

I pray we will join the Ukrainian people singing through the night as we pray to the God who gives us life.

For the days when a song is what we need the most, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – When we are baffled and confused by what is happening in this world and in our personal lives; and when things feel terribly out of our hands, I pray that we will believe in love even when it feels like love is missing. I pray we will continue to believe in You, even when You feel very silent. I pray that we will hear Your voice in our lives and know that we are Your beloved child; one that you are anointing with strength and peace. Amen.

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