good lord, show me the way…

A melody begins to waft gently through the air and into my ears. Nobody else can hear it. It’s only for me. It originates in a typed message sent from Missouri. It travels across plains and over mountains. It wades through rivers, and skims over lakes until it reaches me in my chair.

“O sinners, let’s go down…”

My friend doesn’t go to church. I do. She isn’t religious. I am. But we connect through the miles over our shared love of a song about communion. She wishes for a world where we can all meet in the river. I wish for the same thing.

“let’s go down, come on down…”

A universal invitation for fellowship. All of us together gathering in the river. United by what we have in common. Ignoring what separates us. A call to bathe together, wash each other, no barriers, no walls.

“O sinners, let’s go down…” 

I meet you in the water, and I hold your hand. It doesn’t matter who you are, we’re all here for the same reason. We’re all here to bare our brokenness, and be made whole. I touch your forehead to mine, and as our tears mingle we feed the river. It’s here, in our honesty, our openness, that we draw strength.

“down in the river to pray…”

This is the place we are cleansed, and where we see each other for everything we are, everything we can be. I put my hand on your shoulder, and I pray for you, not for me. I pray for love, and a settled spirit. I pray for you to find peace, and hope. You ask me what I need, and I say, “Grace.” You touch my lips with your fingers, and you speak a benediction over me. In the river, we join with the choir, and begin to sing.


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