"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

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August 02, 2020 - #4742 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at musicandthespokenword.org

This is an encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word specially selected while the Choir is practicing social distancing.

Music

Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Press Forward, Saints”1
Music: Vanja Y. Watkins
Lyrics: Marvin Gardner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Sing Praise to Him”
Music: Bohemian Brethren’s Songbook, 1566
Lyrics: Johann J. Schütz; translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Softly and Tenderly”2
Music and Lyrics: Will L. Thompson
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Spitfire Prelude” (organ solo)
Music: William Walton
Arrangement: Dennis Morrell

“One Person” from Dear World
Music and Lyrics: Jerry Herman
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah”1
Music: John Hughes
Lyrics: William Williams
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Let Us All Press On
  2. On the CDs This Is the Christ and Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

The Spoken Word

Light the Whole Sky

It takes only a glance at the news to know about disasters and tragedies all around the world. And it takes only a glance into our own lives to know that they happen close to home as well. Everyone’s difficulties are unique, but everyone has some. And perhaps that’s the first step toward coping and hoping: to realize that we’re not alone as we experience life’s hardships. We are all, to one degree or another, going through it together. While we might prefer to turn away from others and struggle privately, hearts heal best when they’re open. That’s when love can enter, when the bonds of friendship can bind up a broken heart. Writer James Thurber once shared this definition of love he heard from a friend: “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.”1

We’re all inspired by people who choose to go through something with someone because of love. For example, a woman who was abused in her youth is reaching out to help other young women heal. Veterans are counseling others with post-traumatic stress disorder. Widows are forming support groups. They’ve all found the secret—not just to surviving, but to flourishing.

Instead of getting stuck in the idea that our suffering isn’t fair, we cope better if we realize that the world does not owe us comfort and ease. In fact, the way out of despairing over our troubles is to stop keeping score and try to bring comfort and ease to others. When we do, life improves. Our problems seem smaller and our prospects brighter. We begin to have hope again. 

The 14th-century poet Hafez wrote:

Even
After
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe
Me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole
Sky.
2

This kind of generosity of the soul is much more than just a nice idea. It’s essential to happiness. When we give from the heart, we can light the whole sky—the sky that all of us share. 

  1. In “Thurber,” Life, Mar. 14, 1960, 108.
  2. “The Sun Never Says,” in The Gift, translated by Daniel Ladinsky (Penguin, 1999), 34. © 2002 Daniel Ladinsky; used by permission