“For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1: 16-17

Singing in the dark is an act of courage. It is declaring into the great unknown- My spirit has faith even if my brain has doubts. Scientists are really just starting to study and try and understand something that people know experientially: Music makes you feel good. Not only that, but it calms nerves, lifts spirits, provides courage, comfort, can improve memory and provides strength for a new day.  Mothers & fathers for millennia have sung over their children before bed to calm their fears of separation and give them courage to enter the great unknown of darkness into their journey of sleep and the subconscious.

Simple words paired with a simple tune can tap into our emotions and our spirits and, dare I say, enter the unseen realm. I found this to be true when, like a child riding a carnival ride with a friend, she was terrified and unable to get off until the ride was over. I remember singing “Jesus loves me” to her. I imagine in my normal tween mind, this would have been embarrassing to think of the carnival workers listening below- but somehow the song broke through her tears and calmed her fears.

Music has kept us sane this season of a pandemic. Music, song, & dancing. Dancing is an act of moving our bodies- creatively shaping the forces that surround us, rather than just succumbing to what is thrown our way. It feels like a fight of resistance. A declaration of joy amidst pain and sorrow.

When politics make me cringe, when lies seem to permeate, and darkness creeps closer to our doors, I must dance in defiance.  When nations turn asunder, hatred worn as badges of honor, and neighbors turned against neighbors, I must sing songs of love. When I hear of those who are hurt,  or babies who no longer have mommies, parents who no longer have children to hold, illness & death overtaking those I love, I sing my song of defiance over them. Sometimes I sing out loud, sometimes with movement or dance, and sometimes quietly in my heart.  One of my favorites is a well known African American spiritual, a song sung by enslaved people in defiance to evil while clinging to their faith in Jesus:

He’s got the whole world in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

He’s got the whole wide world in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

… the little bitty babies…

…the mommies & the daddies…

 … the brothers & the sisters…

 … you & me baby…

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

When we enter the great unknown before us, Lord, grant us courage to sing as a declaration of faith that you are there & you are singing with us and over us.

Gabriele Replogle

Gabriele Replogle

Gabriele Replogle is a frequent contributor to our Commonway blog. She loves to sing, dance, & write in defiance of death and darkness. More of her musings can be found at her website: gabrielereplogle.com.

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