A Moment of Serenity

Well, it’s safe to say that my last post struck a nerve…

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Juuuust kidding.

In all seriousness, thank you to everyone who left a comment and shared the post on social media. Respectful and healthy dialogue is so needed right now, and I loved hearing – and learning – from everyone.

Question for you: What do anti-Trump rallys, the opera, and a hijab have in common?

And no, this is not a bad joke…

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Well, they all played a key role in a surreal experience I had this weekend.

If you’ve been watching the news at all, then I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the anti-Trump protests in New York City, LA, Portland, Chicago, all over. People are taking to the streets in anger over the results of the election.

Also happening this weekend in NYC, my best friend (since childhood) performed in an Opera Gala at Carnegie Hall. It was such a special moment and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. It was literally the realization of a dream that she’s had since we were both 7 years old, back in the Midwest, playing in the woods and dreaming of one day moving to New York and being on Broadway/in the Opera.

But as I was sitting there, I had this incredible moment of clarity that, I can only attribute to God.

Carnegie Hall is a big deal. It is the epicenter of classical performance, and also, coincidentally, in the epicenter of the largest anti-Trump demonstration in the nation – at Trump Tower. Carnegie Hall is located at 57th St. and 7th Avenue while Trump Tower is at 57th St. and 5th AvenueThey’re two blocks away. 

(PS, mom and dad don’t freak out when you read this…I was totally safe) First of all, getting to Carnegie Hall, I couldn’t take a cab because all the protesters were shutting down traffic, making it impossible to navigate by car. So I took the subway. And walking out of the subway station from underground, I could hear all these helicopters surveying the scene overhead, the banging of drums, and the drone of an angry, yelling mass of humanity. There was a tension in the air that was palpable, and I really felt like I was in the middle of something big.

Fast forward an hour later, in the concert hall and the moment happened.

The concert was going on, the next song was up, and nine women came onstage in elegant ball gowns and began singing Ave Maria. Which, if you are unfamiliar, it is a beautiful arrangement of a prayer, in Latin.

So sitting in my plush seat at the opera, surrounded by exquisite crystal chandeliers, penguin suits, and heavenly music, I realized: here we are, listening to this serene prayer, with these violent and hateful protests going on, literally right outside the door.

And then, I began to look closer. These nine women: there was a black woman, a Latina woman, a Chinese woman, a Jewish woman, a Brazilian woman, a white woman, a transgender man, a muslim woman in a hijab, and an ethnically ambiguous woman.

I had a nearly out of body experience, realizing that this was a “God moment.”

These women are exactly what our country needs right now. Desperately.

They were all coming together, in prayer.


This performance was a concert of opera songs. The repertoire and cast were chosen months ago, when The Donald was simply a blip on the radar. And now, here we are, seeing a little beacon of hope and faith in the midst of the hurt and anger right outside the door.

Reading all 900 of your comments on my last post about Donald Trump…and yes, I read every single one…I realized just how deeply a) divided, b) passionate, c) needing/wanting to vent, and/or d) ominous, everyone feels about the results of the election, no matter what “side” you’re on.

The reality is, there are a lot of really hurting, scared, angry, conflicted, and/or unsure people out there. And that is evident in the name calling on social media and in the news, in the protests happening on the streets, in the vandalism in our towns, in the mouths of our children at school. We are in a free fall.

And there is only one thing to do:

We need to come together – all of us – and pray for our nation.

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At the end of the song, I had two tears that had trickled down my check, thankful that God had revealed this glimpse of His grace and His healing power.

The thing about music, especially choral music, is that in order for it “work,” and sound beautiful with all the intricate harmonies and variations in tone and rhythm and volume…you have to listen to each other. You have to contribute your part, sometimes not singing the melody, but instead, the harmony or descant – but none the less, your part is vital to the finished product: the sweet and heavenly sounding music.

So I invite you to just think about that in these coming days and weeks.

Ave Maria

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

(Translation) Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the Fruit of your womb: Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

*And coincidentally, as I’m typing this, I hear the drums and shouts of the protesters right outside my window, as they are marching right now through the Village in lower Manhattan.

I invite you to pray with me now.

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236 thoughts on “A Moment of Serenity

  1. You are so right in all that you said. We need to come together. I don’t know WHAT to expect, and there are ALOT of scary things being said about how this or that may happen or get cut or etc.. Its madness. The truth is, we don’t know what will really happen yet. He hasn’t been sworn in and nothing has been officially done. Here is my prayer. God Bless us all. God Bless the woman and the man, the child and nature. God Bless our country to unify and move forward. God Bless our future through trials and graces. God Bless all people no matter their faiths, genders, or the colors of their faces. God Bless you too and how wonderful you are xoxoxoxoLove ❤ ❤ ❤

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  2. It’s difficult to put into words how disappointing both “sides” of all this are. If they could stop trolling each other and realize they were all doing the exact same thing they’d find a ton of common ground. Haha. I’m done with federal politics for a while and focusing on local where real important things happen.

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    • Thank you for this my friend. Yeah i am ready to just move forward in harmony and unity and leave all of this back and forth ugliness behind. I’m just praying for healing and then placing my trust in the Father. That’s awesome that you’re going to focus local. Volunteering and personal involvement in our government is incredibly admirable! Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

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  3. First of all may I say that you are amazing because I personally know you read and usually answer all of your comments. Because you read and reply to my silly musings and if you attend to me, you must be attending to everyone. Secondly you are so right about the need to come together. I saw a post about the need to put rich white boys through a boot camp to educate them to keep from being racist. I didn’t even respond to the fact that this is a prejudice concept. As if every rich white boy is racist…. Anyway I think education is needed but not in a vacuum, only by getting all sides together to try to talk and heal will we change as a country. I honestly used to have some Trump like behaviours (the bad ones, not the ones that got him rich) and I didn’t change because someone hated me…. I decided to change because of the people who loved me… any way BBB, amazing as always and thanks for posting and listening!

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    • Hey my friend! Thank you for this reflection. Yeah, I feel like if people take the time out of their day to read and reply, they deserve a response back! Haha but seriously this was some great food for thought. You’re right, I’m praying that people’s hearts seek to understand one another and have a willingness to listen and come together in a respectful dialogue. That’s what’s needed for healing. Which is so desperately needed. I was very encouraged by the conversation after last week’s post. I pray it continues. Thanks for stopping by!!)l Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hi. I’m glad you had the eureka moment, the divine serendipity. I hope that as both sides pray (and as noted, there are believers on both sides) everyone realizes that they don’t have a lock on the right answer, the right relationship, the sole truth. When we start being absolutely sure we have the only one right answer….we shut others out and shoot them down. Which is a problem in this country now, the need for absolute unbending positions.
    But….glad you got out, glad you are safe, glad you are still writing (and doing a better job of crafting it than I am!)

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  5. There are times in our lives when we don’t always like the outcome of something that happens. But what we think was bad could be the best thing for us. Everything under heaven has a purpose. God has the big picture. He doesn’t have to reveal everything to us at once and at the time of God’s choosing, all will be revealed.
    Isaiah 41:10-13

    10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
    those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
    12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
    Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
    13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
    and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.

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  6. Hi princess Carolyn, thanks for sharing this post especially the moment you had… God is Awesome… I choose to dwell in the Serene. I never was up to commenting on your last post because I just at the last minute hushed myself by saying it wasn’t my business who won the elections in that country, I just wished them peace, serenity and graceful discernment. We are all into this life business together regardless of who we support or don’t support… 🙂

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  7. Thank you for the reminder to pray for our country, people and leaders. I am currently working 2 jobs totaling 80 hours a week with the commute.to make ends meet and I forget this turmoil is going on. May GOD bless you for what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This election came down to one overriding choice for me..and that was to finally get off the sidelines and actively follow the one I know can lead us, save us, never disappoint us and protect us- and that is God -alone. We have found a fantastic, loving, growing, energetic, community oriented church and I am so happy & grateful to be situated right smack dab in the middle of this much love, grace and PEACE!!!

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    • Hi Cindy, thank you so much for sharing this. That is so awesome!! I’m so happy for you that you’ve found such a life-giving community. That is incredibly important. And you’re right, He never disappoints:) Hugs and love xox

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  9. “So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    🙂 Beloved Caralyn! Let us be extremists of love, truth and goodness, like Christ. Blessings to you, Mark…

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  10. beautybeyondbones said:

    I invite you to pray with me now.

    “Now” is relative since you posted this two days ago. 😉

    This morning, I read the “Ask the Rabbi” column at the Aish.com website. The question had to do with how to overcome hated. Here’s the Rabbi’s response:

    The Torah says: “If you see the donkey of someone you hate lying under its load, you must help him unload it” (Exodus 23:5).

    While the verse addresses alleviating the pain of an animal, it also presents another issue: Helping someone you “hate” unload his donkey.

    We see from here that the way to overcome hatred is to help the other person, care for them, and give to them. When I give to someone, I invest a piece of myself, and therefore we become bonded.

    Of course, if your hatred is greater than your ability to be patient and giving, and the interaction will end in a fight, then it’s better left alone. But if you are capable of overcoming the challenge, then it’s good to put yourself in a situation where you are forced to help the object of your dislike.

    Otherwise, hatred left alone will just fester, waiting to explode. And is that really the type of world we want to live in?

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  11. What a beautiful experience. Of course, the manifestation of female grace in the world is a struggle that goes back many years. I remember Hillary going to China’s International Conference on Women and telling them that their treatment of women was a human rights violation.

    A point in practical ethics: in advocating for reconciliation, the advocate must rigorously avoid demonizing the other side. Rather, they must offer alternative means for redress of grievances.

    In my own little part of the blogosphere, I am not advocating for reconciliation. I am advocating for the purge of Mammon from Christianity. I will not stop goring oxen until that work is complete.

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    • Thank you for this Brian. Yeah it was truly surreal in every sense of the world. Some intriguing food for thought there. Thank you for sharing. I will be interested in reading your words. 🙂 hugs to you friend. Glad you stopped by. Xox

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  12. A really nice piece of intellect. 🙂 I like these moments, and spontaneous events of life remarkably happen as we are just being, as we just are. While for Trump… He is no fool, he just knows what triggers the right spots in the nation. He will be a president just like any other, or, hopefully, he will be authentic and do less damage than the last two US presidents did… Hillary was the continuing of the same politics US has had for more than a decade, and that politics is tragic. So Trump might even be better! You never know. It would’ve been the best if the US could’ve had Bernie in the white house, but unfortunately, it looks like we’re not ready for that yet.

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    • Thanks friend. Yeah it was a really powerful moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yeah I have hope for our new president. Hopefully he stands up for the disenfranchised and neglected. And that he use him time in office to benefit and be inclusive to ALL people. And I pray that people give him a chance to earn their respect. So glad you stopped by. Big hugs xox

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  13. This is really good. I also enjoyed you last post that struck a nerve. Keep on writing and sharing. The world loves your narrative. Say hello to NYC from Oregon. I miss it there. 🙂

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  14. The imagery you shared of the nine beautiful vocalists singing that gorgeous prayer together is a vision that will stay with me as I hope that I can bring women past our dividing pain and into our unique power, in fellowship and alliance.

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  16. People have the responsibility to follow the result of the election, aren’t they?
    That is the way of the democratic nation. Did people consider to protest the opponent group from the beginning if they fail on the election?

    Mr. Donald saw the reality but Mrs. Clinton did the ideal. It seemed like so for me.
    But we have to see something important behind things.

    By the way, what bad things will Mr. Trump do?
    In my view, Mr. Trump will do much better for America and good citizen of the other countries.
    I can’t see the reason or motivation in him that he will make American citizen disappoint in future as Mr. President . And we will see it in the near future.

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  19. I so love this;-
    “The thing about music, especially choral music, is that in order for it “work,” and sound beautiful with all the intricate harmonies and variations in tone and rhythm and volume…you have to listen to each other. You have to contribute your part, sometimes not singing the melody, but instead, the harmony or descant – but none the less, your part is vital to the finished product: the sweet and heavenly sounding music.”
    You’re amazing! And so wise! God is awesome, I know. 🙂
    I’m laughing, but silently, as it’s late at night where I am, but this Catholic girl did not know, until now that Ave Maria is Hail Mary! Lol! I feel so stupid. And you probably have no idea how many times I have prayed Hail Mary (I don’t anymore, bad I know, but I prayed the rosary every day once in my life – sigh!)
    Keep spreading the love!
    Hugs! xxx

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    • Thank you so much, Anne. What a kind thing to say. Haha! Yes! They’re one and the same! 🙂 I love that they put it to music. Yeah, I wish I prayed the rosary more too. I used to pray it when I would take a walk, but now, I listen to podcasts. Sounds so silly when I actually say that like, come on, priorities!! But yeah, I’m not proud of that. Maybe I’ll try to get better at praying it. I did feel like it was centering to spend those 15 minutes of the morning focusing on Jesus’ life. ANywho…you’ve challenged me to pick that back up. so thank you 🙂 glad you enjoyed the post! hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I am late to the game, but better late than never. First, I would like to commend you again for your courage and bravery. Your posts are inspiring. It is simply amazing how God works. It would be even more amazing if those who are spreading hate and violence would see the miracle that you see and that some of us every day. There is so much hate and discrimination in our world and it seems to be getting worse every day. Those who are out there promoting this hatred and violence are doing so under the wrong guidance. Hope that makes sense. They say there is hate and racism within Trump and others, but aren’t they behaving in the same way that they are protesting. I feel we are all guilty of seeing the bad in others without thinking first. I pray for peace in this world and that we would all do our part to bring love. peace, and less violence into this world.

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    • Hi again my friend 🙂 Me too. Big big prayers for peace in our country and throughout the world. Healing will come from understanding and listening. That’s what I’m praying for 🙂 thanks again for being so awesome xo

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