Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"When You Believe..."

"Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood..."

I was sitting at my desk earlier this week when my daughters came in and one asked, "Mom, why are you watching a cartoon movie?"  "Because, " I countered,  "Mrs. Eddy (Mary Baker Eddy, author of "Science & Health") says, 'Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love -- be it song, sermon or Science - blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ's table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.'  And today it's all about this song for me," I replied.  "Cool," she said, "so this is how you work?"  "Yup," says I.  "I want to work with you," she said, and sat down in my lap to listen.  Her sister joined us.  So, there we were.  Three spiritual thinkers listening to a cartoon Miriam singing to her cartoon brother Moses about hope, and faith, and miracles.

We listened to it over and over again.  Calls came in from those needing help. I took the calls, we listened...and prayed with the spirit of that song.  It was a precious window on my "office" for these daughters who are usually quite willing to read Scripture with me and pray for their friends who are hurt or sad.

It was also a sweet moment of things "coming full circle."  When the girls were just wee ones, I was in a particularly dark place emotionally.  I felt like I was, as Eddy says, "…walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes…" and not even close to anticipating the promised joy, much less finding it, when DreamWorks released "Prince of Egypt."  Our older daughter and I went to see it in the theatre and I had to excuse myself halfway through Tzipporah's singing of "When You Believe."  As I stood in the hallway of the theatre…just outside the screening room…trying to settle my uncontrollable sobbing, I realized that this was what I wanted more than anything else....her unassailable kind of faith.  I wanted to be just like an animated Miriam striving to let hope be more powerful to me than the looming emptiness of the human landscape.  It didn't matter whether that landscape threatened to be an endless emotional, physical, or economic wilderness. The shifting sands of specificity were nothing to a woman with an unshakeble faith in her God who is All-in-all to her. 

For weeks after leaving the theatre I would find myself aching to hear that song again, and finally went out and bought the soundtrack…and later the DVD when it came out.  But there were very scary scenes depicting the plagues on the DVD…scenes that left our older daughter unsettled and shaken. So the DVD was put away and the soundtrack started accompanying me in the Jeep wherever I went.  Clara & Emma from their carseats behind me, quickly learned the Hebrew chorus phonetically and would sing along in full voice.  Some days, when I was feeling particularly in need of its message of encouragement, I would bundle us all into the car, roll the windows down, turn the volume up and we would drive through the Colorado sunshine singing and crying and praying with our whole hearts, and souls, and voices…for a miracle.

And miracles came.

A healed heart, an answered prayer, a cry heard in the darkest wilderness by a loving Father-Mother God.   These were the simple reminders of His ever-present care, sweet moments when Her guiding hand was felt at the small of my back.

Sitting in my office that morning with the girls…singing this beautiful hymn of hope, and joy, and praise…lifting our hearts, hands, and lives in praise to Him, I could almost hear the voices of my babies singing words in Hebrew they didn't even know they knew, speaking and singing "in tongues." They may not have known the meaning of the words, but they knew the spirit of its message in the depths of their being. Something ancient and eternal speaking to, and singing out from, them.

Today it's all about this song…but then it's always about a song with God and me.

Below are the full lyrics and a link to a video of Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky's version of
"When You Believe" with Hebrew by Ofra Haza.

It is my prayer of hope for each of us,

Kate
[and if you really want to experience this song "in tongues," treat yourself to this video of "When you Believe" being sung in 28 languages at once...it is so remarkable and feels like a virtual moment of "pentecostal glory"]

"When you Believe"
Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe

In this time of fear
When prayer so often proved in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away
And now I am standing here
With heart so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe

Ashira l'adonai ki gaoh ga-ah
Ashira l'adonai ki gaoh ga-ah
Mi chamocha baelim adonai
Mi kamocha nedar bakodesh

Nachita v'chas-d'cha am zu ga-alta
Nachita v'chas-d'cha am zu ga-alta
Ashira ashira ashira

Ashira l'adonai ki gaoh ga-ah
Ashira l'adonai ki gaoh ga-ah
Mi chamocha baelim adonai
Mi kamocha nedar bakodesh

Nachita v'chas-d'cha am zu ga-alta
Nachita v'chas-d'cha am zu ga-alta
Ashira ashira ashira

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
Now you will
You will when you believe..."

- Stephen Schwartz

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:29 AM

    the clip is lovely! and now I can't wait to see the movie.

    much love,
    b

    ps any idea what the hebrew words mean?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad you asked:

    A~shi~ra i'a~don~ai ki ga~oh ga~ah
    (i will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously)
    A~shi~ra l'a~don~ai ki ga~oh ga~ah
    (i will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously)
    Mi~cha~mo~cha ba~elim adonai
    (who is like you, oh Lord, among the celestial)
    Mi~ka~mo~cha ne~dar~ ba~ko~desh
    (who is like you, majestic in holiness)
    Na~chi~tah v'~chas~d'~cha am zu ga~al~ta
    (in your love, you lead the people you redeemed)
    Na~chi~tah v'~chas~d~cha am zu ga~al~ca
    (on your love, you lead the people you redeemed)
    A~shi~ra, a~shi~ra, a-shi~ra...
    (i will sing, i will sing, i will sing...)

    lovely...don't you think

    ReplyDelete