March 28, 2021 - #4776 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 encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.
Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
“Unfold, Ye Portals”1 from The Redemption
Music: Charles Gounod
Lyrics: English translation by Reverend John Troutbeck
“The Ground” from Sunrise Mass
Music: Ola Gjeilo
“Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals” (organ solo)
Music: Sigfrid Karg-Elert
“When You Wish upon a Star”2 from Pinocchio
Music: Leigh Harline
Lyrics: Ned Washington
Arrangement: Michael Davis
“Have I Done Any Good”3
Music and Lyrics: Will L. Thompson
Arrangement: David A. Zabriskie
“When the Saints Go Marching In”
Music and Lyrics: Spiritual
Arrangement: John Rutter
The Spoken Word
Simple, Small, and Quiet
At times, the world seems so big and overwhelming, we may wonder how anything we do can ever make a difference. We might feel this way especially when we see suffering and contention and wish we could do something about it. At such times, it helps to remember the obvious truth that this big world is actually made up of individuals—millions and billions of them, each with a heart and feelings and desires. So often, that which is simple, small, and quiet has the most profound effect on another’s heart.
For example, students remember the teacher who sincerely cares about them, who takes time to know them, and who cheers them on. Neighbors appreciate that person who goes about doing good in the neighborhood—cleaning up, helping out, being friendly. Likewise, friends cherish friends who make efforts to stay in touch, who continue to reach out, who take the time to show that they care.
We make a difference in the world by making a difference in someone’s life—one person at a time. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, makes the world a kinder place. Every little effort to improve—to do a little better and be a little better—makes the world that much better too. That’s how we create the world we want to live in!
The poet Emily Dickinson gave us a clear picture of such simple yet powerful goodness:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.1
Yes, there are many broken hearts and fainting robins in the world today. We can’t prevent every tragedy or heal every wound. But maybe we “can stop one heart from breaking.” Maybe there’s one ache we can ease, one pain we can cool. Most people will never see you do such acts of kindness, but these small efforts are often the ones that matter most, the ones that are never forgotten, the ones recorded on heaven’s ledger.
After all, every great thing is really just an accumulation of many simple, small, and quiet things.
- Poems by Emily Dickinson, ed. Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W. Higginson (1892), poem number VI, page 18.