All opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Photo by Carline Combs (@ccombs)

 

“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when feeling it not. And I believe in God, even when he is silent.”

These are the opening words of a poem carved into the wall of a cellar in Cologne, Germany, where Jews hid for the duration of World War II.

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of rockets have been launched into Israel. Clashes on the streets have injured and killed Jews and Arabs. The Jerusalem Post confesses that although Israel is winning battles against Hamas, the country is losing a larger image war as outsiders criticize Israel’s response to her attackers. Israel and her residents are currently facing an onslaught of physical and verbal threats.

When confronted with chaos and darkness, loneliness, and deafening silence from on high, there is one approach which the Jewish people in particular have used to kindle light throughout some of the darkest periods in history: the singing of faithful songs.

Many Christians and Jews alike have a special appreciation for the Psalter, a Biblical collection of 150 faithful songs. The vast majority of these songs were written not because the Psalmist was moved by great love or joy, but because the Psalmist was moved by duress. King David, the author of most of the songs in the Psalter, sang to God when he was being pursued by armies. He sang to God when he was on the brink of death. He sang to God when his soul was downcast and his enemies questioned the presence of his God. David sang to God when God’s nearness and goodness were not obvious. And the act of singing –the act of continuing to respond to God, even when the divine voice was drowned out by taunts and terrorism– allowed David to persevere and to cast the light of God’s presence into the lives of people removed from him by great geographical and chronological distances.

The suffering that national and individual war inflicts on people is terrible and tragic. But just as words of unshakeable faith and hope can cut hard cellar walls, the spirit of songs of faith can cut into the hardness of suffering. By singing through suffering, we can express solidarity with God and with the stoic choir of saints who have gone before us, leading us through suffering with firm words of faith.

 

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. 

I believe in love, even when feeling it not.

And I believe in God, even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial, there is always a way.

But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair

My heart cries for shelter, to know someone’s there.

But a voice rises within me, saying hold on.

My child, I’ll give you strength, I’ll give you hope.

Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. 

I believe in love, even when feeling it not.

But I believe in God, even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial, there is always a way.

May there someday be sunshine,

May there someday be happiness,

May there someday be love,

May there someday be peace…

-Anonymous

 

 

Sources:

“I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9812347-i-believe-in-the-sun-even-when-it-is-not

“Israel needs to better coordinate the image war,” By JPost Editorial. https://www.jpost.com/opinion/israel-is-fighting-an-image-war-and-losing-editorial-668370

 

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