Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Healing Prayers from Africa

Thank you Marilyn for suggesting that I purchase and read the book, Prayers for Healing: 365 Blessings, Poems, & Meditations from Around the World early in my time of distress. There are some gems in there that I'm still discovering.

As Dr. Larry Dossey said in the foreward to Prayers for Healing, "Prayer helps us contact sources of inspiration and wisdom that transcend the rational, analytical side of the mind. Prayer provides a sense of hope and meaning--the certainty that we are part of a pattern that is purposeful and intelligent. Without this awareness, life is not just unsatisfying, in can be unendurable." (Prayer is supernatural).

Here are two of my favorites from the book:

Dinka Prayer

Now that the sun has set,
I sit and rest, and think of you.
Give my weary body peace.
Let my legs and arms stop aching.
Let my nose stop [bleeding],
Let my head stop thinking.
Let me sleep in your arms.

African Prayer

I have no other helper than you, no other father, I pray to you.
Only you can help me. My present misery is too great.

Despair grips me, and I am at my wit's end.
O Lord, Creator, Ruler of the World, Father.
I thank you that you have brought me through.

How strong the pain was--but you were stronger.
How deep the fall was--but you were even deeper.
How dark the night was--but you were the noonday sun in it.
You are our father, our mother, our brother, and our friend.

Amen. And Amen.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Harvest for the World

I’ve been impressed with many of the people in Charlotte since I moved here over a month ago. When people in Charlotte ask me how I like the city, I tell them about the friendliness that I’ve encountered, from people in churches, to folks at the Department of Social Services, and even perfect strangers. I’m especially pleased with interactions I’ve had with some of the “sisters.” It’s good to be able to meet women on the street, smile, and hold friendly conversations. That didn’t happen that much in Nashville -- not for me anyway. The publicity about Nashville seems to be somewhat misleading. I think outsiders see Nashville as a friendly southern city where everybody speaks to each other. Not so. Although I did meet some phenomenal people in Nashville, I found a great deal of rudeness and detachment from people in “The Music City.”

I had a pleasant experience in the WalMart on Eastway yesterday. I had to quickly go in and buy a booster seat for my daughter (someone stole ours from the car!) While I was in the store, one of the employees started singing over the intercom. She seemed to spontaneously break out with some of the lyrics to “Harvest for the World” by the Isley Brothers. She sang the song like it was something she had to do. Her rendition was very passionate and full of emotion. I giggled a little because it was quite strange, I initially thought. But as I looked around, I noticed how other customers seemed to take it as a natural, everyday thing. Maybe that’s something this woman does regularly. That’s a good thought. I hope she does. It definitely made my day. This was also a coincidence. I had thought the day before that I would post the lyrics to “Harvest for the World” on this blog. I’m not sure why this song came to my mind a few days ago, but it is a gorgeous and appropriate song for today’s world.

Go here (Sample 1) to listen to the luscious prelude to “Harvest for the World.” It’s almost like a prayer—at least it makes me want to pray.

Here are the brothers singing “Harvest for the World.”

Harvest For The World Lyrics
by the Isley Brothers

All babies together, everyone a seed
Half of us are satisfied, half of us in need
Love's bountiful in us, tarnished by our greed
Oh when will there be a harvest for the world?

A nation planted so concerned with gain
As the seasons come and go greater grows the pain
Far too many feeling the strain
Oh when will there be a harvest for the world?
Gather every man
Gather every woman
Celebrate your lives
Give thanks for your children
Gather everyone
Gather all together
Overlooking none
Hoping life gets better for the world
When will there be a harvest for the world?

Dress me up for battle when all I want is peace
Those of us who pay the price come home with the least
Nation after nation turning into beasts
Oh when will there be a harvest for the world?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wisdom Cries Aloud in the Street

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets;

She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge?

If you will turn and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.

Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it,

And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof,

I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic--

When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord,

Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.

For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them.

But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.

Amplified Bible, Proverbs 1:20-33

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Infant Eyes/You Are So Beautiful to Me

You Are So Beautiful to Me
by Billy Preston/B. Fisher

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can't you see
You're everything I hoped for
You're everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Such joy and happiness you bring
Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

I like to sing to my daughter now and then, especially at night sometimes when it’s difficult for her to go to sleep. Sometimes she’ll request certain songs and sometimes I’ll just sing one of my regulars for her like "Summertime," "God Bless the Child," "Santa Lucia," or "Infant Eyes."

I tried "You Are So Beautiful to Me" on her some time ago and I could tell she was really touched by it. I’m planning to sing it to her more often.

Here’s Patti LaBelle and Joe Cocker singing You Are So Beautiful in 1985.

When I heard the song, "Infant Eyes" as a child, I thought it was the most beautiful song that I had ever heard. My child wasn’t to come until many years later, but I felt some semblance of a mother’s love for her child when I heard it. "Infant Eyes" is a Wayne Shorter composition, but the Jean Carne version is the only one I’ve ever heard. I can’t imagine anyone singing it better than she did. It’s a masterpiece.

Infant Eyes
by Wayne Shorter

There’s no plan
Beneath the sky
The voice could never arise
That could sing of my love
Oh my, dear Infant Eyes

Infant Eyes
You are mine
Without your smile
The stars would fall
The moon would lose its glow
And the rivers would cease to flow
You know
I wish you could realize
This love I have inside
A love that never dies
Oh my, dear Infant Eyes

Monday, September 10, 2007

Things I Do Well

I want to thank my good friend Marilyn in Nashville for encouraging me to come up with this list months ago. It's encouraging and it also makes me laugh.

This is a pat on the back to myself because I really need it. Here are some of the things that I do well:

- Love and take care of my daughter
- Sing and read to my daughter
- Take out the trash
- Select really cool earrings
- Twist and lock my hair
- Write
- Hug
- Smile
- Laugh
- Make other people laugh
- Encourage others
- Doodle
- Direct
- Make chess pies

Thanks Marilyn! I'm going to come back to this list the next time I need a lift.

I'd like to encourage all of you readers to make a list of some of the things that you do well. I want to hear all about it!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Like Vultures

Recently I overheard a converstion between a man and a woman about the woman’s former high school teacher. The man told her that somebody had seen the teacher somewhere. She said, “Really? I told ---- to let me know when he gets a divorce.” The man and woman both laughed. Obviously, the woman is or was interested in dating the man. But she has a live-in boyfriend and a little baby at home.

Is this what it’s come to? Are people waiting around like vultures, hoping and wishing that married people will get divorced so they can have a go? Lord have mercy on all of us, if this is the case.

Let us pray:

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

-- Psalm 1: 1-6 (New International Version)