I like to sing harmony as much as I can. During Advent, because I’m familiar with the hymns, the harmony comes easily because I know the songs well. I’ve know them from reading the hymnal as my mom or dad held it low for me to read, my nose touching the thick paper, its edges lined with blue.
Sometimes, though, I can’t remember the harmony. Sometimes I don’t have the notes in front of me and can’t read the E or the D I’m supposed to sing. So I listen for them. In church, I’ll mouth the words so it still looks like I’m singing but I’ll listen for the voices that I know, until I can follow along, my voice joining (even if it’s quietly) with them. Or I’ll angle my ear towards the organ so I can pick up what I need to keep singing.
I guess that’s what I’m doing here with this post as I try to reflect on what happened on Friday. I can’t seem to find the notes. I can get as far as sitting in the carpool on Friday listening to the President on NPR, inching closer and closer to Hadley as she stood on the sidewalk with her friends, laughing and jumping up and down, while I did everything I could not to jump out of the car and run towards her.
When I don’t know what to say, when it’s all too much, I look to others. Meg Jenista, Byran Berghoef, and Sarah Wells are writers whose recent posts discussed this horrifying tragedy and I am thankful for their words.
“When God Doesn’t Break In” by Meg Jenista. I got to hear Meg preach at the Washington D.C. CRC today because I was covering a story for The Banner, and she is fabulous. I knew that before, however, because she and I were friends when we both lived in South Bend, and she listened to me dream out loud of wanting to be a writer someday. She also tried to teach me how to sew and anyone who remains a friend after attempting to teach me how to sew has miraculous patience.
“Linger Here and Reflect” by Bryan Berghoef. Bryan is also a pastor who has recently moved with his family to Washington D.C. to plant the church, Roots DC. He is also the author of Pub Theology, a book I think my dad will probably order immediately now that he knows about it.
“Advent Day 14 Pajama Movie Night and Waiting Out the Darkness” by Sarah M. Wells. Sarah is a poet and author of “Pruning Burning Bushes”. I wish I knew her personally, but I am thankful for her words – both essays and poems. I always look forward to her blog posts as well because she writes about motherhood and writing. Something I can’t relate to at all. I cheer her on from my desk in D.C., because she shows me that even in the face of overwhelming doubt, one can be a mother and a writer.
I want to keep singing, but right now, I’m just listening for the notes.