I’m sitting with colleagues at White Eagle Conference Center near Hamilton, NY, with 22 colleagues retreating together. What strikes me about moments like this is how apart from time yet completely in the stream of time we are at these things – in the midst of programming last night, I learned a young neighbor died. I don’t have a ministerial responsibility there, but I do have responsibility as a neighbor.
And then comes along this song – which I sang with the amazing Lynn Gardner and Wendy Bartel last night – a prayer of deepening that, along with these friends, holds me in loving arms.
Voice still and small, deep inside all,
I hear you call, singing.
In storm and rain, sorrow and pain,
still we’ll remain singing.
Calming my fears, quenching my tears,
through all the years, singing.
Our hymn was written by John Corrado, who was our lyricist way back in the first week. I should note that the original lyric used the phrase “in dark and rain”; our hymnal commission wisely changed it to “in storm and rain” – which I think works better anyway.
This hymn speaks deeply to me right now, as I process the news from a distance. I don’t have a ministerial responsibility, but I do have responsibility as a neighbor. It’s hard, but a song like this, which holds complexity so beautifully, offers solace and comfort.
Grateful for this place, grateful for this space, grateful for these friends and colleagues, grateful for this song.