At the beginning of Lent i posted a blog about a little boy i met, who thought he’d done something unforgivable – committed the ultimate sin – when he said Alleluia during Lent. He had heard somebody, a priest, a nun, a parent, say, “During these 40 days you should never say that word. These are days of remorse (meaning “sorrow for sin.”)
i told the boy, “HOGWASH!” The very definition of “Christian” is “a sinner saved” (though there is a famous gent, who has his eyes set on the White House, who seems to have broken that mold!) One must NEVER EVER NEVER FORGET the SAVED part, or one will surely sink.
Like the time the Apostles were in the boat on the Sea of Galilee and were caught up in a terrible storm, the waves crashing and rocking them. They were in a heavy fog and scared for their lives, when all of a sudden here comes Jesus WALKING on the water. He said, “Do not be afraid. Come on. Come to Me. You can do it, too!” And Peter started to do it, WALK ON WATER. As long as he focused on the Savior, he was ok. The instant that he focused on himself or on the stormy water, i.e. on his weakness and sinfulness, he sank. It all has to do with where you set your eyes.
NEVER stop saying that word – or at least whispering it, during Lent. Or maybe you could just HUM IT. The version that so so many people love the most is that of Leonard Cohen, the wonderful Canadian poet/songwriter. People relate to it, people love it, because he says that ours are Hallelujahs that are broken, busted, dirty, grimy, covered in blood and sweat and tears and ashes…but still standing, crooked, mangled, twisted by life but still pointing to the sky – and to the SAVIOR. Our Best Alleluias are those.
Or how about the one and only Dion of the Belmonts from my beloved Bronx, who loves to call the Psalms of King David the ORIGINAL and SOME OF THE VERY BEST of the Blues, prayer-filled songs that flow out of the deep dark river of the broken, battered human soul as it cries out for Love and the Peace that Only Love and Mercy can bring.
So, say it, sing it, hum it…Just don’t ever forget it! (Even BEFORE Easter) Alleluia, Amen!