Repost from September 2010
I really enjoy the song “What A Wonderful World” performed by Louie Armstrong. The authors of the song describe the good and beautiful in our world. The day and night, rainbows, friends, and children.
It’s interesting that Armstrong would have accepted the invitation to sing a song with those type of lyrics in 1968, the climax of America’s racial conflicts.
My guess is, by the age of 68 he had enough wisdom to know that the only true change in people would start in their hearts.
A changed heart is a changed perspective and a changed perspective is a changed way of thinking. I think of all the nasty things Armstrong must have witnessed in his life. The oppression, segregation, and hate. Yet in spite of all he knew about human nature, he knew there was hope.
We all know that pain and suffering is part of this world. We know that death is inevitable for all of us. Everyone has witnessed or lived through difficult times, some obviously more than others.
My sister-in-law has a friend who’s eight-year-old daughter died of Cystic Fibrosis. She was at her friends house when the little girls ten-year-old brother offered to carry his little sisters emaciated body to the ambulance. She watched him carry her out with tears in his eyes.
That family will never be the same.
There is a popular Christian singer/songwriter who shortly after he released a song about his adopted daughter, was accidently killed by another family member. How does one cope with that in this life?
We see pictures of little kids in various parts of the world who are dying of hunger and disease. There isn’t anything wonderful for the eyes to find in those circumstances.
Maybe you’ve heard someone say something like, “If there is a God, how come He allows so much pain and suffering”?
I marvel at the life of Louie Armstrong, his dad left him and his mom for another woman. His mom ended up as a prostitute and Louie lived part of his life on the streets. He picked up the desire to play the Cornet from listening to the live music in downtown New Orleans.
What if he’d been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, say in California? Do you think he would have had the same determination and spirit that motivated him to perform non-stop right up until his death in 1971?
I consider the verse in 2nd Corinthians 5:8. “We are confident I say and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Those children previously mentioned, according to this scripture are at their real home.
What if the old adage has some deeper meaning than first meets the ear. “Only the good die young.” What if our human perspective is relegated to a brain born in this flesh, with less comprehension of the other dimension where God’s word tells us our souls live forever?
In those horrific things that happen in the flesh, what if God is showing mercy to the flesh? What if God is showing mercy to the ones He calls home?
What if an omnipotent God can use those negative things in our lives to bring about wonderful things in the lives of others?
What if God could use a simple song by a man who had been oppressed, and yet put forgiveness in that man’s heart?
Maybe that little song would give people a better understanding of how we’re to treat one another, regardless of what we look like?
Hmmmmm….. “I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”