Friday, October 24, 2014

God's Song for Us

This was my devotional yesterday:

God looks at us with love, kindness, and great compassion at all times. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God takes great delight in us, calms and quiets us with divine love, and rejoices over us with singing. I wonder what song God is singing over me right now? What song is God singing over you? Scripture says that it is a song of rejoicing and delight. I wonder what effect it would have on us if we could hear, just once, the words of God’s song for us.

- Leigh Harrison
Birthed in Prayer: Pregnancy as a Spiritual Journey
From the Upper Room Devotional

Zephaniah 3:17New International Version (NIV)

  The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Then I recalled something I had read somewhere that described an African Tribe that created original songs to sing to the newborns. I recall thinking what a wonderful gift that was to and for the child.

After a bit of internet research, this is what I found on The Free Thought Project

Tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born


By Matt Agorist on January 13, 2014

CAUTION: EXPLICIT PHOTOGRAPHS OF TRIBAL WOMAN and what I consider to be inappropriate ads for some faux news items (how to eliminate belly fat).

(T)here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.
The tribe in this story is known as the Himba Tribe. They live in the northern parts of Namibia on the banks of the Kunene River.
Whether or not this recount is folklore or actually happens, we can all learn an insightful lesson from this story. Dwelling on the negative only tends to contribute to its power, true salvation is freedom from negativity.

Wishing you everyday grace,

Tamara