Pep Talk: “Deaf In It”

April 23, 2017

A favorite dude is Ralph Waldo Emerson. He lived during the 1800s, attended Harvard Divinity School and was greatly influenced by Henry Thoreau. Wikipedia suggests the Massachusetts’ native “gradually moved away from his religious and social contemporaries.” A trailblazer. This aging jock admires trailblazers. Folks who have the guts to go for it. One Emerson quote that really resonates?  “What lies behind us and what lies in front of us, pales in comparison to what lies within us.”
Amen to that.
What lies within us? What spirit do we bring to the party? I’m thinking about that as Billy Joel plays in the background and your knucklehead scribe is firing off an email to the “All Soul’s Superstars.” Led by a good buddy Tom Sauer, it’s a dedicated group from All Soul’s Church in Englewood. Starting May 10, A Stronger Cord’s third Denver location will be hosted there.
In the correspondence? Description of ASC’s Service Saturday and how the community outreach wellness movement rotates among loving on widows, orphans and elderly. One of the big challenges in America today is this: There are few men around in the public housing community so the moms/kids living there are modern-day widows and orphans. In addition, how America isolates its elderly is tragic. ASC’s trying to change all of the above. If you will, blaze a trail.
Through partnerships with Denver Dream Center and Bessie’s Hope, ASC’s Knuckleheads spend Saturdays serving others. I was describing what All Soul’s is getting into starting next month. I’m sure grateful the parish sees the value of adding wellness to its community outreach along with existing worship and works. Worship. Works. Wellness. A cord of three strands not easily broken.
Change. As Emerson suggests, can we transform by the renewing of our minds? Try something different? Who knows, it might work! 
A respected friend recently suggested a book by Brene Brown. She’s a research professor, author, speaker and world-renowned expert on embracing adversity and vulnerability. The book is called “Rising Strong.” In its first chapter, the Houston-based mother of two talked about a habit of listening to music when her mood darkens. In particular, Brown writes about a David Gray song, “My Oh My” and lyrics where the singer croons about the complexities of the human soul. Here’s what Gray sings:
“What on earth is going on in my head?
You know I used to be so sure,
You know I used to be so definite”
For Brown, founder and CEO of Daring Way, it’s not so much the lyrics as it is the way the singer draws out the word “definite.” It comes across as “Deaf In It.”
In makes me think of Emerson again and what lies within me, you and everybody else. Might it be a good moment to ponder, have we become too hardened that we no longer hear? As individuals, communities, nations and humanity?
The world seems pretty crazy these days. Have we become deaf in it?

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