I have a friend, Jason, who has three noteworthy talents. Wait, that came out wrong. Sorry, Jason. He has many noteworthy talents, but three in particular that I greatly appreciate.
1. He orders well off the In N Out secret menu.
2. He can play pretty much any instrument just by looking at it.
3. He picks out the most perfect music for me, music that I wouldn’t normally give a second glance to. Then he points it out and lo and behold the songs he suggests are now all of my favorites.
That third one may actually verge on the side of superpower and it’s that talent/superpower that brings me here today.
A few weeks ago Jason tweeted about loving this Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth mash-up that Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang together. Rub your eyes all you want, you read that right.
When I read Jason’s tweet, my eyes rolled so hard they almost got stuck, which would have been terrible because moms all over the world would have rightfully let out a global, “I told you so.”
My eye roll was impeded by a teensy niggling thought. Jason always recommends brilliant stuff. But David Bowie and Big Crosby??? No. Just no.
So with my eyes set on auto roll and my scoff turned on high, I watched the video.
And then I swallowed my scoff back down past the lump in my throat and my eyes were too busy blinking back tears to even think of rolling.
The sorrow of the Newtown shooting was still a bleeding wound, soaking through my days in the classroom and staining my pillow with nightmares.
So when David Bowie sang these lines, I found myself weeping and echoing his prayer.
I pray my wish will come true for my child and your child, too.
He’ll see the day of glory,
See the day when men of goodwill live in peace,
Live in peace again.
Many Christmas songs wish goodwill to others, like goodwill is a thing to be gifted with a plate of cookies. I stopped in my tracks at the phrase “men of goodwill” because as it turns out, all this time goodwill is something to be, not to have.
I get that it’s a Christmas song and that you’re on an eleven month sabbatical from Christmas music, but that verse has been loping in my head for the last few weeks as my little ones and I studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his call for all of us to be a people with spirits devoted to equality, a people with minds set on peace, and a people with hearts pulsing with goodwill.
This Monday as we honor Dr. King, his words will ring in my heart and in a surprising twist, David Bowie and Bing Crosby will be singing the soundtrack that plays in my mind as I seek opportunities to be a woman of goodwill.