The Singing of Angels

BethlehemHoward Thurman is one of my favorite theologians and authors. I first encountered his writings during my seminary years when an anthology had just been published. Of all of his writings this piece has touched me most at Christmas.

The Singing of Angels

There must always remain in every person’s life
Some place for the singing of angels,
Some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful and,
By an inherent prerogative,
Throws all the rest of life into a new and creative relatedness,
Something that gathers up in itself all the freshets of experience
From drab and commonplace areas of living and glows in
One bright white light of penetrating beauty and meaning . . . then passes.
The commonplace is shot through with new glory;
Old burdens become lighter;
Deep and ancient wounds lose much of their old, old hurting.
A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest of our lives
We are trying to grow tall enough to wear.
Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the hardness of life,
Despite all the harsh discords of life,
Life is saved by the singing of angels.

– by Howard Thurman from “Deep is the Hunger” 1951.