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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, April 07, 2004
    Quotes for Holy Week - 3 - For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ipsilanti
     


    When Sufjan Stevens announces: Say Yes! to Michigan! it also means, Say Yes! to LIFE! The quote above is his background to the wonderful, gracious song For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ipsilanti, with its heart-melting refrain, 'I'll do anything for you, I'll do anything for you, I did everything for you, I did everything for you' [I blogged about it in February, here].

    And I've been struck this week by the deep value of empathy, the great power in simple acts of understanding others in their complexity and their pain. Struck by the pain of those in the Passion story who fail to demonstrate this - name any from a long list including Peter, Pilate, Judas, you and me. Struck also by the unlikely ones who do - the woman at Jesus' feet (see yesterday's blog), the centurian at the cross, their gracious actions and awestruck words. And finally, struck by those able to express these things in song. Unlikely individuals: Christina yesterday, Sufjan today.

    One thing which makes Sufjan's music beautiful is his profound ability to express an empathy with others in their complexity and their pain. Compassion. He's finally hit HMV ... a joy to know such graceful art is now available on the high street.