While I confess that I am not an avid or active news-watcher, it’s been impossible to not hear about and be affected by the events that have erupted in our world recently. Mass shootings. Terrorism. Senseless violence. Innocent lives lost. Millions of souls looking for a place to call home. Seemingly, each day, the news seems to smolder with horror and tragedy – both far and near, and in its wake, it’s hard not to feel fearful or angry; it’s hard to find hope.
Yet, here we are – planted right in the middle of the season of Advent – the seedbed for hope, for new life – the reminder that even in darkness, light does and will shine.
In the midst of these bleak headlines that appear in our news and in the beautiful mess of our own personal lives, I believe there is always reason for hope…for love…for peace. Those are the very forces we must use to fight against the fear, anger, and despair that can so easily paralyze and corrupt us. Those are the strongest forces there are.
Just this week, I happened to stumble mindlessly into an ad (of all things!) that reminded me of the beauty that can come from tragedy and the hope that survives when the sun sets.
The ad featured “The Breathless Choir,” a New York-based group of 18 men and women from the ages of 12 to 92 with severe breathing problems. They were brought together this past September and taught to sing again by an acclaimed British choirmaster named Gareth Malone. Yes, these people, many of whom are on ventilators and breathing machines, have been taught to sing again.
Any further words I could attempt to offer about this inspiring group would pale to what and who they actually are, so all I will venture to say is that their music not only consoles and heals but also it literally breathes hope into this fragile gift of life.
Enjoy this miracle of breath, song, and hope:
and Happy Advent.