one pale thin ray

Katie has signed up to sing in her school’s talent show next week. As if to prove that the thread of Godspell really does weave itself into the fabric of everything that this family does, she’s chosen to sing Beautiful City.

We downloaded the sheet music earlier this week so that she could learn to play the song on the piano. She plays every chance she has, toying with the chords ever so slightly, making it her own.

I love the song. It’s one of my absolute favorites from the play and now that Katie’s singing it All. The. Time. I find myself following suit. I sing it in the car on my way to work and then find myself humming it again as I walk back to the car at the end of the day. I dare say everyone in the house has had the song on auto repeat in our heads for two weeks now.

I wanted to write something this morning to acknowledge the people of the Philippines. To let them know that they are not alone as they sift through the unthinkable devastation that has been left behind by what is said to have been the strongest storm ever to make landfall. I wanted to find a way to let them know that we will help them rebuild. That we will send money and food and supplies and manpower. And that we will wrap them in a blanket of prayer as they make their way through this time.

I had no idea what I was going to say. I just knew that I had to say something.

So I opened my laptop and began to type. And as I did, I found myself, yet again, humming Beautiful City. And just as last night, when at the moment that a friend with no connection to autism asked me about my girl and the piano player hit the chorus of Natalie Merchant’s Wonder, I am speaking by listening.

These are the lyrics to Beautiful City …

Out of the ruins and rubble
Out of the smoke
Out of our night of struggle
Can we see a ray of hope?
One pale thin ray reaching for the day

We can build a beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But we can build a city of man

We may not reach the ending
But we can start
Slowly but truly mending
Brick by brick, heart by heart
Now, maybe now
We start learning how

We can build a beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But we can build a city of man

When your trust is all but shattered
When your faith is all but killed
You can give up, bitter and battered
Or you can slowly start to build

A beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But finally a city of man.

To the people of the Philippines,

You are not alone. 

The Philippine Red Cross

6 thoughts on “one pale thin ray

  1. This is amazing. It does tie in so meaningfully and poignantly! Of course, I love that song, as well, as I often play Godspell in the car. …and to the people of the Philippines, you are, indeed, not alone.

    Love you,

  2. The universe works in amazing ways. “Wonder” coming on at that moment. How perfect. “She’ll make her way”… our girls will make their way.

    Prayers to the people in the Philippines. May they find the strength to rebuild their beautiful cities.

  3. Just a quick note from ‘down under’ to let you know that I am still reading your posts and following your story. I was thrilled to read about your most recent Godspell experience. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it….and like I’ve said to you before….”brick by brick” and heart by heart. Much love; “Uncle Mark”. x

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