GUEST BLOGGER: ALLISON L. WEISS

Allison (http://blog.allisonweiss.com) teaches Spanish at Illinois Wesleyan University in Normal, IL. When she’s not watching foreign films, cleaning her house, or howling at the moon, you can find her chipping away on a project to make wholesome music more easily accessible to Spanish-speaking members of the LDS church (http://poplarlanearts.bandcamp.com).

Sometimes I get this image of a kind of system, call it a Higher Power Grid, above my head, relaying messages between me and all the people and creatures to whom I’m connected. Jesus is like the Power Grid Master and he takes all the available love and faith and goodness on the grid throughout all time and shuffles it around to benefit the most people possible. My job is to send off little yellow-light blips of goodness and to be ready to receive other blips whenever my personal diamond-shaped antenna starts to glow and rattle.

Mid-February, I had an experience that reminded me of the give-and-take nature of The Grid (sounds like a good movie, doesn’t it?). I was feeling the creative itch while sitting in church, and all of a sudden it came to me that it was Valentine’s Day, and I could write a Valentine’s song to post on my music site for Spanish-speaking families. I started to brainstorm lyrics, scratching notes on the back of my church music. Lyrics for a completely original song didn’t come, but fragments did: “La soledad, tribulación, la ansiedad, la confusión, todo el pesar le doy a él, Él me comprende y me da su amor.” (My loneliness and tribulations, the anxiety, the confusion, all of my burdens, I give to him, He understands me and He gives me love). That night, singing into my laptop and plunking at the piano, I discovered that I could interweave those phrases into one of my church’s hymns, “Where Can I Turn For Peace?” Not your typical Valentine’s Day love song, but hey, I went with it and posted it to my website.

The next day I received an email from Belia: “You don’t know how many times I have sung that hymn [‘Where Can I Turn for Peace?’] this month!” she wrote. “It is one of my favorites and it brings me so much comfort.” Aha, I think to myself. So it was a song for Belia. But then I watched as the stats on my website climbed over the next few weeks. Over 250 people downloaded this one little, simple arrangement. Wow—250 people needed this message from the Power Grid Master and they got it!

Then the earthquake hit. And I realized that perhaps this was also a song for Chile. As I have reconnected with most of my friends there (still awaiting news from a few families), I have consistently observed messages of gratitude from these faithful brothers and sisters. Like a chorus I hear their song of faith: “We’re okay! The roof is split in two, but the family is safe. And it’s summer. We’ll have time to rebuild before winter. Many others have it much worse.” Another message: “Thank you for your prayers and support, you have no idea how much they mean to us.” And finally: “The devastation is great in our town but we will come out conquerors. We always have.”

I take courage from the songs of these faithful hearts connected to mine through time and space. A bidirectional blip of yellow light goodness races down the line to Chile and back. Transmission sent. Transmission received.

Advertisements