Thursday, April 5
"Isn't It a Pity"
I absolutely adore Nina Simone and her eleven and a half minute long interpretation of George Harrison's 'Isn't it a pity' on the live from the UK album is simply phenomenal. It is a beautiful song and a tale of raw human emotions. Through it one is encouraged and inspired to show a little more care in the way we live and we behave towards others. I have been struck recently by an exchange of comments I had with Steve, otherwise known as the eminent Baron Hashbrown, on changing the world and Christianity. The Baron is a really noble person not only by social status, but more so for his ideals and principles. His comments are always filled with kindness, compassion and grace. Steve declares himself as atheist. In the context of one of his usually compassion filled comments, prefaced by a declaration of non-religiosity, I responded by complementing his Christ like attitude and wording. That comment opened up a little debate whereby it was been pointed out to me that being a Christian does not mean being a better person than the rest. I partially agreed with this alleged accusation; nonetheless, I cannot help but expect and often witness the tangible proof of how faith enhances one's life. Coincidentally, Nina Simone also wrote another wonderful song on Martin Luther King. "The King of Love is Dead" narrates the story of the deeds and compassion portrayed by Dr King who through his Christian faith and a remarkable determination, shaped the course of contemporary history. The examples of Christians doing something good are copious and, surprisingly, not merely stuck in a time long gone. A couple of nights ago I was having a chat with a friend of mine who had visited a missionary friend in Thailand last summer. He was quite awestruck in describing how it is mainly Christians he saw working amongst the poorest and neediest. From personal experience, in all of my travels locally and internationally, I too have witnessed the compassion and affection that springs out of Christian communities across the globe. Above and beyond petty conflictual church policies, denominational division and past errors, the truths preached by Jesus are the ones that not only transform the lives and souls of the individuals, but which also enrich, promote, sensitise and challenge the behavioural attitudes of a community of believers. I believe all the mistakes and damages the Christian community has provoked over the centuries have got nothing to do with its movement funder. The Son of God become flesh not just so that we could have some more holidays in the Gregorian calendar (thank God for Easter and Christmas!) but also to challenge the world and change it forever. In this season, I can't help but think about God. The cruxifiction, the resurrection, the daffodils in bloom, the Easter eggs. The last one in particular makes me see God in His people - not much in the gesture of buying an egg for someone but for the growing involvement of many churches to get strongly behind fair-trade, abolitionism, social justice, debt cancellation. It gives me a lot to be thoughtful of, caring about and proud of.