Benefit for Haiti and Obama's state of the union...

My church is reading Greg Mortenson's book, Three Cups of Tea, and one of the themes that is repeated over and over is this: most of our differences can be worked out if we take the time to listen - and respect - one another. Mortenson's work of building schools in some of the most remote and challenging environments - often initially opposed by the Taliban - is a living proof to this way of living:

+ Listening - waiting - and trusting that inshallah - if it is God's will/and if it is in God's time - things will work out makes all the difference in the world.

+ I experienced some of that wisdom last week during the international telethon to raise emergency relief for Haiti. To date they have generated over $60 million dollar of private aid - and when that is combined with that from the nations and relief agencies... it staggers the imagination. This is money from people of good will of every political background and race, class and culture. This is one of the times when we have heard the cry of the Lord in the anguish of the Haitian people.

Madonna's genre-bending pop/gospel song gets this spirit so right: there is passion and pathos, commitment and sorrow, joy, hope and weeping all at the same time. (Please: cynics need not send me any notes about how easy it is to sing a song while the Haitians suffer. Just try WRITING a song that connects people of every race and culture let alone sing it in a way that truly touches the Spirit!0

And, I have to say, I felt some of that in President Obama's speech tonight: he was humble, angry, honest, challenging and real all at the same time. He was conservative, liberal, filled with peace in a time of war and aware that he can only do his part to ease the suffering. "Inshallah" is so right... It does my heart good to see other genre-bending artists pulling together like the President and making hopeful, hard and honest music that will save lives.


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