The past few weeks have offered us a particularly difficult news cycle. A passenger plane was shot down in Ukraine. People continue to die in the Israel-Palestine conflict. And at home in America, children have crossed our borders alone and scared, longing for something less violent than the places they left.
I find myself wanting to do something, anything, to make it better. At this point I have been to all the relief websites. I know I can give money. If we knew Spanish, we could foster a child. And past that, I am basically out of options and stuck feeling both helpless and unhelpful.
This morning a childhood friend sent me a new music video from the always-amazing Reba McEntire. If you’ve never listened to this diva of modern country music, school thyself. She is something special. Apparently a few months ago, she asked her fans to help her out with a new song called “Pray for Peace.” And people everywhere did just that. Reba wrote about the process of this work coming together:
“I feel this song is a gift from God. I have never worked on a song as long as this one. It went from a bass drum, fiddle and singers to guest artist singing with me, adding more instruments and even a choir and a bagpipe! It’s an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love.”
Sometimes the hardship of the world can feel so heavy that we can barely breathe. And yet, we are a praying people. It is the first, and sometimes the only, response we can offer. I have to be reminded of it again and again.
But I’ll let St. Reba tell her own truth: