The Belle of Freedom – Good News for September 18

18 09 2009

Luke 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

The Daily Path: This week I lost a very dear and old friend. I first met her along with her two pals, Peter and Paul, way back in September of 1963. For the better part of nine months I would listen to her on an almost daily basis. She spoke of social justice, the meaning of freedom and the joys of living. My friend was a beautiful blonde who was older than me. I think I had a bit of a crush on her. She possessed an incredible voice that could be a powerful hammer or tender as a mother nurturing her baby child.

Over the years the interactions with my friend grew fewer and far between. However, when we did connect it as was like we’d never been apart. The old memories would come rushing back as joyous as ever. For a few moments we would bond as we always had, then go our separate ways until the next time. I don’t think I’m the only one who experienced this with her.

Mary Travers died on September 16 after battling leukemia. Her band mate, Peter Yarrow said that “(Mary) was incapable of lying, as a person or as an artist.” I believe that is true. Though I never met Mary Travers in person, the music of Peter, Paul and Mary was played by my kindergarten teacher each day. It was more than a calming influence on me and my classmates at nap time. The music also taught us life lessons that remained with me long after those early school days. At a time in our nation’s history when human beings stood up for the rights of others, Mary’s voice was, as the song says, “a hammer of justice and a bell of freedom.” Paul Stookey shares that “she was brave, outspoken and inspiring – especially in her defense of the defenseless.”

Even though I migrated towards other musical genres later in life, I always stopped to enjoy the music of Mary Travers whenever it crossed my path. I guess the “crush” continues to this day. I’m certain that my friend Mary is now sitting with our Father in Heaven lending her angel’s voice to the chorus. God must be pleased that her gift was used so well while she was on earth.

Picture 3

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