Imagining a New Song, A New World
March 23, 2020
There is a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to the Beloved.
Many will see and rejoice,
and put their trust in Love.
-Psalm 40:3 Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill
Earlier this month, Bridge of Hope Harrisonburg-Rockingham was the recipient of an offering at an event by Ken Medema and Ted Swartz, hosted by Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. One of Ken’s gifts is that he can immediately compose a song upon hearing a story.
We shared the story of one of our moms, Katelynn, who has two children. Katelynn left an abusive marriage to make a better life for herself and her children. Katelynn’s story is in process. Her focus is on the daily work of living into her miracle. This looks like her learning to prioritize self-love and self-care. It looks like being intentional to make sure her kids are getting quality time with her and other trusted adults. It’s the hard work of pursuing a divorce. It’s choosing to cook a healthy meal. It’s learning new skills for her job. It’s the vulnerable work of reaching out and letting others know how she’s doing. It’s her and her children getting counseling. In her case, it’s even about understanding that the Love of God is more expansive and unconditional than she was ever led to believe. All of this is happening with the help of her Neighborhood of Support. She’s crossing the bridge with hope and toward hope.
At some point during their time in the program, we typically see participants shifting toward a new narrative for their lives. One in which they can imagine a different reality and new steps forward. That is big inner work that requires a great deal of trust- in themselves, in community, in Love. That is what this song represents.
Listen to the song here:
As I’ve been meditating during this time of physical distancing due to the Coronavirus, I’ve really been drawn to the energy of a deeper community that I am witnessing. I see people coming forward to make sure those most vulnerable have what they need. Young people getting groceries for older folks. People checking in with their elderly neighbors, so they are not forced to go out themselves. Kids finding new ways to connect and play together, even while separate.
Here at Bridge of Hope, we continue to hold this important space of connecting the most vulnerable in our communities with resources necessary for a brighter future. We are continuing to provide rental assistance for all families in our program as some moms are unable to work and others are uncertain about work in the coming weeks. Your donations will help us sustain this support. We are committed to helping with emergency needs as they arise. Some people are donating grocery cards for families. This is so helpful when income is affected. The three most accessible stores for our families are Sharp Shopper, Food Lion, and Martin’s. One thing we know is that our work can’t stop. We are continuing to take on new families. Some individuals are forming neighboring volunteer groups at their churches, which is a vital part of our program. Neighboring Volunteers are continuing to check in with their Neighboring Families to let them know they are not alone in this isolating time. If you wish to send a message of hope to one of our families to let them know they are not alone, you can submit it here: MESSAGE OF HOPE
Note: Please contact us with any questions you may have about ways to get involved: email@example.com
I see people putting their trust in Love. This only increases my hope for our families, our community, and our world. Can we remain in that place of imagination and picture something different – and perhaps more hopeful – emerging?
This poem by Kitty O’Meara has been holding me in this space:
The People Stayed Home
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
What is the song within you?