This past week Sid and I were blessed to have our 4 year old granddaughter from Denver stay with us while my son and daughter-in-law vacationed at Bar Harbor and visited spots along the Maine coastline. It’s purely magical to see the world through the eyes of a child, although this one has the maturity of at least a ten year old! She handled disappointments better than many adults I know, let alone her insights and vocabulary! Okay, enough bobbe bragging. . .
One day we had thought about taking her to see the new Little Mermaid movie. She had already seen the first one with her parents. The new one is not animated, but rather, is live action, so could be a bit more intense. After checking with my sister who had seen it, I decided it wasn’t going to be a good choice for a four, almost five year old.
The first version of the movie had its issues too, some of which escaped us parents at the time when we took our kids to see it for we all really loved the movie despite the scary parts and bad subliminal message. The story does end with Ariel the little mermaid giving up her identity to become human and marry the prince. To do so she gives up her voice, literally and figuratively. To accomplish this dastardly act, Ariel sings a beautiful “Ah ah ah, ah ah ah . . . “ succession of notes as her voice is being drawn out of her mouth by Ursula the sea witch, this scene the most memorably horrific.
On my drive back to Maine after Isaac Labell’s incredible bar mitzvah, I was alone in the car since Sid was unable to attend. During the drive at some point a melody came into my head. It was as I was listening to the Daily Dvar and praying. I sometimes write music so I just started to sing the notes. The scene was not unlike that with Ariel and the sea witch, but my voice was being drawn to the light instead of the dark as I sang a melodic niggun (wordless song). It felt as if Yeshua was drawing the sounds from my lips. Then came the words:
“Oh Lord, hear my prayer,
Oh Lord, You are there,
Oh Lord, You care,
Oh Lord, hear my prayer.
You are my God, my Love
Your truth resides in me,
You came from the heavens above
Your truth has set me free.”
The notes, then words being drawn from my throat felt as if they were being lifted out of me, being given to Yeshua. I sang and praised Him with the words and the melodies and felt His Presence. There may be more notes and lyrics to add to the melody I sang that day in the car, the day I expressed my love to my Messiah through music and felt He was with me.
When we give our voices, whether in song or words, doing so can be toward the darkness or toward the light. Ariel gave her voice to an evil creature, the purposes achieved perhaps not the best even for a Disney movie if we delve into the deeper analysis.
We do have a choice, just as Ariel did. And our own inclinations and desires always inform our choices which is why we must keep close to Him in our daily walks. Really no one person or group can force us to say something. There are many powerful dark influences – peer pressure, negative thinking, social influences, social media influences, false assumptions, evil inclinations. Yet the decision is really ours as to what, or to whom, we bring our voice.
As many of you know, I am passionate about sharing the Good News with my mainstream Jewish brothers and sisters. Perhaps because I welcome these opportunities, HaShem seems to put them in my path. I love using my voice, orally and in writing, to speak or sing of Him. As these days unfold, I encourage you to find your voice, that special one He has given you to praise Him through thoughts, words, song, and prayer.
How He must love to hear from us, as He is always sharing His voice with us, through us, through Scripture, the beautiful sounds of His creations – the birds, the waves, the bees, the wind/ruach, His Ruach, the love of others.
Can you hear Him now . . . ?