Difficult Times & Hope

This past month has been the most difficult in my life – and that of my family as well. I’m not going to go into it for the whole Internet, but any well wishes, happy thoughts, prayers, whatever you want to send our way, whether we know about it or not, would certainly be welcome. And, of course, the reason I’m not very active online right now is that I’m focusing on family, work, and other pressing matters.

I have had some measure of comfort from hearing from others that have had pain in their lives. It is good to know I’m not alone, good to have people to talk and share with. And it is good to find some way to have hope in the midst of difficulty and uncertainty.

I sing with the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus, and when listening to one of our recordings recently, was struck by these words in a whole new way. Let music never die in me is a powerful message.

I dreamed a dream, a silent dream,
of a land not far away.
Where no bird sang,
no steeples rang
and teardrops fell like rain.

I dreamed a dream.
No alleluia, not one hosanna,
No song of love, no lullaby.

And no choir sang to change the world.
No pipers played, no dancers twirled.
I dreamed a dream, a silent dream.

Awake! Awake!
Awake, my soul and sing!
The time for praise has come.
The silence of the night has passed;
a new day has begun.
Let music never die in me!
Forever let my spirit sing!
Wherever emptiness is found,
Let there be joy and glorious sound.

Let music never die in me!
Forever let my spirit sing!

Let all our voices join as one
to praise the giver of the song!

Awake! Awake!
Let music live!

The Awakening, Joseph M. Martin (excerpts)

See a performance here.

Even when hope is dim, or the music is playing only softly, it’s not dead. I hear it when an 85-year-old person in church, comes up to me with tears in her eyes and gives me a big, silent hug. I feel the music when when I can share about things with people, when I sing, when the beautiful Kansas sunset peeks out, when I share a smile or laugh with someone, and when I see the delight and happiness of children.

Let music live!

23 thoughts on “Difficult Times & Hope

  1. Hello John,

    Dunno what’s happening but I’m anyway with you. No prayers from my side or, more precisely not something I’d call prayer, but the spirit of it is certainly there anyway.

    Wishes from quite far away from Kansas but not so far away, after all!

  2. Dear John,

    worries are a Good Thing. They make you think about things that you usually don’t think about. They make you change your thinking, at least for some time. Change, in turn, is a prerequisite for progression, which is absolutely what you need to get happiness. Maybe your worries come from serious illness, lost friends, maybe love, or conscience. Whatever they come from, they show you that you’re alive. Keep them for a while, but set them free to allow yourself progress. Where I come from, people say “Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein”, “where there is rain, there will be sunshine”.

    Take care. Best wishes,
    a random Planet Deban reader

    PS. please excuse me, I tend to get rather pathetic when reading touching stories from people I only know from their “technical contributions” side.

  3. All best wished from Germany to overcome the current crisis in whatever way it manifests. If there is something I/we (all your readers) can do to help, please let us know!

  4. You have touched me,deeply, with stories of family and children. May you be comforted with the thoughts of your many internet friends.

  5. Hey John,

    I’m worried and concerned, but glad that you are feeling hopeful. Like some other folks here I’m clueless about what you’re going through, but that does nothing to diminish my hopes for light and happiness to surround you and your family.

    All my best,

  6. As a Debian community member, planet reader and one time Debconf attendee, I’ve read your writings here and found thoughtfulness, joy, song, spirituality, passion and playfulness. I’ve seen some of the goings-on of your church and the travels of your children. So I’m sending whatever warm thoughts your families way to get through this downpour of rain that is causing your journey to dampen your soul and wish that the eventual sunshine will bring with it renewal, healing and joy.

  7. Hi John ~~ Arlene and I will be pulling for you. That will be more prayers from Texas.

    Once when I was having a very severe and painful time in my life a friend told me something I will always remember. I thought it was stupid until I thought about it for a bit.

    It was after my ex had filed for divorce, and I called him for advice with legal papers (he was also a John, my Sunday school teacher and an attorney). My friend told me, “Jim, no matter what and even if it seems that no one in the world loves you, God still loves you. He always did and always will.” That bit of advice has been the best I have ever had in my life, still to this day.

    I still cried a lot, and to this day have a built in sob that surfaces when I inhale deeply. But I do always remember, God loves me.

    1. I’m at jhovendic[a]yahoo.com if sometime you want or come this way, etc. And BTW a lady in our church sings that song. She tells me when where she is going to sing it or has already done so. Her words then, “I thought of you,” as I had shared my experience with her group.

  8. May grace, peace and love attend you. With all good wishes to you and the family as we all head towards Christmas

    Andy G0EVX

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