BIRD SONG

I stand by patiently on your window sill,
All I want is for you to hear me sing!
With ears tuned to that harsh metallic ring,
You ignore me forgetting I can thrill you with my skill!

The world has hit the pause button and come to a standstill.
Will we stop to ponder and make this a prelude?
Or continue our headlong rush despite this interlude?
Heaven and earth also wait, as mankind ponders its new will!

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt © Douglas M. MacIlroy

GOD OF ALL THE EARTH

The God who dwelt in the heaven,
Is the God who moved in the garden.
The God who made the tent His meeting place,
Is the God filled the temple as His resting place.

The God who was the Word that was spoken,
Is the God who came to be Bread that was broken.
The God who was from and in the beginning,
Is the God who became man to rescue men from sinning.

The God who moved on the waters of old
Is the God who moulds the church as gold.
The God who raises the people from the dead,
Is the God who is the Spirit causing the gospel to spread.

The God who was and is and is to come,
Is the God who is yesterday today and forever the same.
The God who is the Father Spirit Son,
Is the God through whom we will always overcome!

© SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Pc https://unsplash.com/photos/hzp_aT02R48

HEAVEN’S GAIN, EARTH’S LOSS

Everyone here on planet earth
Just is passing through what’s life,
A journey so short in space & time,
Yet a fleeting trial for what is to come!

Some make it fine, others make it shine,
Many often only pine or repine.
Some become kind, others become refined,
Many, of course, make only a beeline!

Every soul that anchors in Christ,
Has no serious fear for day or night,
Naught can disturb them, slight or blight,
They just know to live by faith not sight!

Their days may be seventy or seven,
Their homes may be like hell or heaven,
Their might may heighten or lessen,
But they would only to their Lord often listen!

Such ones don’t seem to matter while alive,
We have often just brushed them aside.
Yet somehow they have to managed to survive,
Until they do stand before Him and jive!

None can measure the extent of their worth,
Nor realize the depth of their lonesome berth!
Many know not that earth has actually disdained
What heaven holds dear as great gain!

© SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL
*Photo: https://unsplash.com/photos/nr80w-MnNVk

GOLDEN SLIPPERS

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"Children, today I am going to teach you O DEM GOLDEN SLIPPERS". 

(Sings and teaches them to sing). 

"Not them but dem!" 

"Why?" 

"Its a negro spiritual and must be sung like that." 

"Its so sad, Thatha!" 

"Yes, maganae. 
It echoes the heart and longing of a negro slave
He is yearning for heaven because he will be treated as human being.
He wants to be valued and be equal to everybody else!"

"Why do people make slaves of others? 
We are all God's creation!"

"I don't know!"

My paternal grandfather was a good singer and taught all his grandchildren from his rich repertoire of songs. I remember him teaching us negro spirituals and insisting on their language. This photo prompt reminded me of one of the first songs I/we learnt at his feet!

In its original form, it was a spiritual sung by black slaves to express the hope of freedom and of meeting God. 

Golden Slippers Also known as Oh, Dem Golden Slippers 1879 was a popular song commonly sung by blackface minstrel performers in the late 1800’s. Golden Slippers was written by James Bland, a black songwriter who wrote for minstrel shows. Bland was also the first man to put the 5th string on a banjo. He did very well touring Europe in 1800’s. Bland had much less success touring in the States because blacks weren’t permitted on many stages, unless it was to perform for an all-black audience.
The song’s first stanza tells of setting aside such fine clothes as golden slippers, a long-tailed coat and a white robe for a chariot ride in the morning (presumably to heaven). The song is well-known today as the unofficial theme song of the Philadelphia Mummers Parade.
LYRICS
Oh, my golden slippers am laid away
‘Cause I don’t spect to wear ’em til my wedding day
And my long tailed coat, that I love so well
I will wear up in the chariot in the morn.
And my long white robe that I bought last June
I’m goin’ to get changed ’cause it fits too soon
And the old grey hoss that I used to drive
I will hitch him to the chariot in the morn.
CHORUS:
Oh, dem golden slippers
Oh, dem golden slippers
Golden slippers I’se goin’ to wear
Because they look so neat.
Oh, dem golden slippers
Oh, dem golden slippers
Golden slippers I’se goin’ to wear
To walk the golden street.
Oh, my old banjo hangs on the wall
‘Cause it ain’t been tuned since way last fall
But the darks all say we’ll have a good time
When we ride up in the chariot in the morn.
There’s ol’ brother Ben and his sister, Luce
They will telegraph the news to uncle Bacco Juice
What a great camp meetin’ there will be that day
When we ride up in the chariot in the morn.
So, it’s good-bye, children I will have to go
Where the rain don’t fall and the wind don’t blow
And yer ulster coats, why, you will not need
When you ride up in the chariot in the morn.
But yer golden slippers must be nice and clean
And yer age must be just sweet sixteen
And yer white kid gloves you will have to wear
When you ride up in the chariot in the morn.
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/music/titles_noncopyright.cfm

*(Thatha – grandfather, Maganae – son in Tamil)

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Sarah Potter

MARRIAGE MATTERS

Marriages are made in heaven is an English proverb probably derived from a French proverb from the early sixteenth century. This proverb states ‘les mariages se font au ciel’: ‘marriages are made in heaven‘. A more appropriate one would be ‘Marriages are made in heaven but lived on earth’. An even more realistic one would be ‘marriages are made in heaven but lived in hell‘!

The first implies a spiritual element to marriages in that, God is part of this institution and so is love. This aspect elevates the status of marriage as important and the stature of it as preeminent over all other relationships.

The second accepts that, though marriage has a ‘divine element to it’ and that ‘marriage goes beyond human love to include spiritual love as well“, it still needs human involvement, commitment, responsibility, nurture and forbearance to succeed. Marriage is hard work that needs consistency and a continuum more than anything else to make it work. It is prosaic, down-to-earth, practical day-to-day life, of night and day, light and dark, dawn and twilight, and therefore, it surely cannot be the indulgence of the fainthearted but the venture of the truly brave!

The third is relevant to these times and often the truth, for though marriage has divine and earthly elements in it, yet it indeed has a hellish part to it. 

Why hellish? Simply because the enemy of souls is out to destroy it. All the forces of evil muster themselves against it, for God instituted it, God honors it as above all else and God upholds it as the essence of His relationship with His people.

Why hellish? Simply because it seems to arouse all of our selfish nature within us. A pastor once said, ‘You want to serve God, be single. You want to be like Jesus, get married’! Marriage, more than any other relationship, seems to arouse and expose the worst in us since it is the closest, most intimate and most vulnerable relationship of all. It needs the help and nature of God to survive!

Why hellish? Simply because marriages are the backbone of society and  are its basic social unit. Hence, marriages are fraught with duties and burdens that tax it to the core. It is the homeground of training and rearing of next generation, the succour and shelter of the previous generation and the epitome and embodiment of the current generation!

Compounded with all this is the cultural confusion that exists in its definition today, compounded as it were by the tenets of feminism, male chauvinism, patristic domination, individualism, same-sex relationship and selfish ambition. All these have muddied the marriage milieu, muddled already by family, regional practices and traditions. In addition, the current social and work environments seem so unconducive to marriage per se. All in all, marriage scenario seems to be on the rock, needing special protection, provision and preservation.

Marriage is indeed a work of art, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. It has the challenge of mountain tops and the beauty of quiet valleys, the glories of sunrise and the depths of sunset, the exquisite joy of companionship and the tragic sadness of loss. It has its origin not in the heart, mind and plans of man, but of God Himself. He it is Who conceived it, contracted it & consecrated it. As such, inspite of its pitfalls, it still is worth its wait in time!