When my five children were grammar school age, Tim, my son Paul's guitar teacher, introduced Paul and me to Todd Rundgren. We listened to his latest album and I was enthralled by one cut, "Light of the World/Love is the Answer" and listened to it over and over. "Light of the World, shine on me, Love is the answer. Shine on us all, set us free, Love is the answer...." This song was immediately sacred for me, a reflection on Jesus, the Light of the World, and His message of love.
"Who knows why," Todd sings, "someday we all must die. We're all homeless boys and girls.... and it's a lonely, world. People drop their heads and walk on by. Tell me, is it worth just another try?"
But of course it is. No matter what darkness we're lost in, what narrowing of our worlds into blindness and bitterness, someone always comes to us either offering Love or needing it, and that one's coming to us is as certain as sunrise or the lamp atop a lighthouse.
"When you feel afraid, love one another, when you've lost your way, love one another, when your hope's run out, love one another." Jesus, totally emptied out on the cross, loved us with a love as powerful and illuminating as sudden sunrise happening at once around the world.
For a perfect time, my husband, young children, and I, along with a group of Mother of Divine Grace teens, formed a group called "Tender Peace, Tender Joy," after a sacred song I'd written, and performed Rundgren's song all over the area, along with other pieces. Little did any of us know that my son Paul would lead a group playing and singing Rundgren's masterpiece many years later at the funeral of his forty year old brother Peter. Lost in our own dark storm of grief, my family knew nothing could evoke Jesus the Light of the World for us more perfectly then that piece, our musical lighthouse.