End of Semester Music


I pray for a transparent soul
and eyes that know how to shed tears
Give me the courage to believe again
and cross the lies to embrace you.

I asked Phila to recommend some Chinese music for me to listen to -- as I'm always telling students to listen to English music, I figured I should listen to my own advice! These lines from 夜空中最亮的星 ("The Brightest Star in the Night Sky") feel very fitting as we come to the end of the semester. Miriam and I have been spending a lot of time hanging out with students who we've gotten to know this year, and that leads to a lot of laughter.

It also leads times like last night when, much to my own surprise, I lie awake crying, my heart wrecked at the sadness and pain that undergirds the lives of these people I love so dearly. It's one thing to read the statistics about the crisis of left-behind children in China and to mourn at the brokenness of the world; it's another thing entirely to know that these children have faces and names and are becoming adults, the very students who I teach and eat with, the ones who are trying to figure out where they belong in the world and what their gifts and passions are, the ones who desperately want to know if they are worthy of love and care.

This year has been so good, so far exceeding our hopes and expectations for what would and could happen on our campus, and I'm so thankful to be here, so thankful to be saying goodbye only for a couple of months this summer.

The other song that's been running through my mind as I reflect on the akin-to-orphan status of so many students is Andrew Peterson's All Shall Be Well.

See the quiet hearts of the children of
The children of this land
They have stayed alive in the day-long night
By the fires that warm their hands
There is a wilderness inside them
It is dark and thick and deep
And beside the fire at the heart of that wood
Is a precious missing sheep
So go on in, hold your torch, let it shine.

'Cause all shall be well, all shall be well...
And all manner of things will be well.

There's a light in the darkness
There's an end to the night.


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