Monday, February 14, 2011

We Are All God's Children

In the poem “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the speaker wonders at God’ power and marvel. He wonders why with a God so great and powerful, some people refuse to recognize His importance. Not only do they refuse to recognize God, but also they destroy what he has created. The speaker says that humans have become greedy and have taken all they can from nature. Despite their greed though, the earth is never done producing. God is always present in the world and continuously restores his creation.

Jane Hirshfiled writes in her poem “Happiness” about her personal philosophy. She says that everyday there are occurrences that have at least two meanings. They have the apparent factual meaning, but a deeper sense of happiness. When the starving wolf comes out of her isolation she was fed by St. Francis and survives. All nature is dependent on each other and share in the happiness. Even the states of hopelessness, desperateness, loneliness, and anger are isolated victims waiting to expose themselves to happiness.

The final reading was a short story by Flannery O’Connor. The story “A Good Man is Hard to find” is about a grandma and her family while they travel to Florida from Tennessee. O’Connor uses many symbols in her story. The grandmother is a lady- like, self-righteous know-it-all, who is actually blind to what needs to be seen. The grandmother is responsible for causing an accident leading the family into the hands of a serial killer, The Misfit. The Misfit is a bold, startling, unusual character. He is a convict, recently escaped from jail, but it is very polite. He is the opposite of the grandmother, seeing himself without the same pride. It seems that Flannery O’Connor juxtapositions the two to show how the grandmother is spiritually blind, but the Misfit, the evil character, can see clearly. In one part of the story, the Misfit bends at the knees and writes in the dirt with his finger. This presents him as a Christ like figure. The Misfit’s henchmen, Hiram and Bobby Lee are described as looking like pigs. This is another reference to the Bible when a herd of swine is filled with demons. When the Grandmother reaches out and touches the Misfit she can finally see clearly. She identifies with him and says “You’re owne of my babies, one of my children.” At that point, O’Connor describes the Grandmother as a snake, traditionally a symbol of the devil. When the Grandmother identifies with the Misfit, she realizes that we are all children of God.

On January 26, I was on my way to go get lunch when I saw a small crowd gathering. I joined the crowd to see what we were waiting for. The people we surrounded were showing the YouTube video, “Stand by Me: Playing for Change.” This is a project started from the idea that music is universal. Music can travel the world and touch the hearts of billions, no matter what their backgrounds are. The video showed people from across the United States singing Ben E. King’s classic song “Stand By Me.” Soon viewers realize that people from countries all around the world such as France, The Congo, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and Italy are each playing instruments and singing the same song, at the same time. The music connects the world bringing all of God’s children together in wonder of his creations. They emerge from their loneliness to share in a moment of happiness through their musical connections.

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