Broken Alleluias

In the past few weeks, I have had cause to think about the word alleluia in the context of a book by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc titled Autism and Alleluias and the song Alleluia by Leonard Cohen which has recently become very popular. I was asked to review in my blog Deyer Bolduc’s new book and my church choir recently sang the Cohen’s song, arranged by our highly talented Choir Director. Our minister’s sermon used some of the text from the song to talk about broken alleluias in our lives.

I have written several times in my newsletters and blog about the idea of embracing the difficult life challenges that inevitably come our way and trusting that each painful or difficult event will eventually reveal a blessing or as Deyer Bolduc calls them, alleluias. It is about trusting and surrendering to God’s plan for us no matter the outcome. It is central to the idea of realizing all of us are in a spiritual classroom so that each life event is a lesson in forgiveness, removing one more block to our remembrance that we are at one with God. When we are in a spiritual classroom we choose the spirit within as our teacher, the Unified Self, instead of the false sense of self which is the ego.

In Autism and Alleluias, Deyer Bolduc writes about poignant vignettes of everyday difficult times raising her son with autism and intellectual disabilities and the small but nonetheless meaningful alleluias she eventually experienced after each event. It is expecting the alleluias or blessings no matter what is happening which keeps us from staying stuck in the “oh poor me” syndrome and helps us find meaning and grace in what life offers. While written from the Christian perspective, parents of children with special needs labels of all faiths will find the book helpful in reminding us there are always alleluias or blessings in every difficult moment of parenting a child with a label, if we expect them.

So how does this relate to the Cohen song, Alleluia and brokenness? There is a definite sense from Cohen’s song that the alleluias we experience in our physical lives are broken that they come at a cost. We make mistakes, we sometimes do terrible things, we are in constant struggle. Yet we know we are forgiven that God only sees our perfection of spirit not the brokenness of our physical existence.  God’s alleluias are not broken, but on earth they can feel broken until we can embrace each life event, no matter how painful, as a spiritual lesson. Then we feel truly blessed.

Categories General Spiritual Musings | Tags: | Posted on July 10, 2010

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