Watch Florence & The Machine Sing To A Kid In Hospice

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I could use some good news. Honestly, it seems like the whole world could use a little reminder that people are still capable of radical love and goodness… Because sometimes it’s easy to forget. But here is a video of Florence Welch and Robert Ackroyd of the band “Florence & The Machine,” who showed up to sing for a teenage girl. Her name is Karinya, and she is fighting cancer. She was supposed to go see Florence & The Machine in concert, but her health wouldn’t allow it. So her Hospice staff reached out to Karinya’s favorite group, and members of the band came to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House and gave her a private 45 minute concert… Grab a tissue before you watch this short clip.

Here are the words that she sang:

“The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you may now run

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come…”

And as cancer wages its ugly war on her, every bit of her barely-there body glows with the joy that comes from witnessing a simple act of goodness from one human being to another… Whether that act is giving a hungry person something to eat, or giving a kind word to a person who needs it, or even a hero giving a concert on the edge of a sick kid’s bed… A kid who is still very, very alive.

Here’s one more video… One more act of goodness.

And again, here are the words that found new life and light and meaning in that room:

“Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but it’s left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn…”

So… A little while ago, I wrote about THIS EVENT at a Paramore concert that I still can’t watch without the voice of God saying to me, “This is how I love you.” And I still can’t watch it without tearing up at the picture of God’s goodness. If you haven’t already read/watched it, you probably should. But now here I am, once again undone by an act of kindness–far away from any church or any denomination or any religion that might seek to let everyone know who’s NOT included in their group. I had no idea about the religious beliefs of any of the band members of Florence & The Machine, and really I don’t care (though, I should admit that I’ve looked up a bit about them while writing this, and I wouldn’t describe their views as anything close to “Orthodoxy”). I have seen what I need to see. And now (as I so often am) I am reminded of the Parable of The Good Samaritan.

If we can learn anything from the Parable of the Good Samaritan, it is this: God cares more about what we do than what we believe. When there was a man who was beaten and needed help laying on the side of the road, the Priest and the Levite–both of the people with the “right” theology–moved to the opposite side of the road. But the one who believed all the wrong things–The Samaritan–HE is the one who actually acted in a way that LOVED his neighbor. And HE is the one about which Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” The whole story came from a question asked by a man who was “an expert in the law,” who was asking how he can inherit eternal life. And Jesus looks at that “expert in the law,” who believes all the “right” things, and he says, “You want eternal life? Here’s how you get it: It’s not about believing the right things. It’s not about believing at all… It’s about doing. It’s about touching the ones everyone is calling ‘unclean.’ It’s about easing people’s suffering. It’s about helping people who need it. It’s about loving the unlovable.”

Show me an atheist who’s doing these things, and I’ll show you the kind of person Jesus points to and says, “Go, and do likewise.” So when I see this video of a band showing up at a Hospice house, sitting on a bed with a hurting kid who happens to be a fan, singing songs as friends and family cry a sacred mixture of sad and happy tears–I see people following Jesus. It’s just what I see. I see people living out their own “made-in-the-image-of-God-ness,” whether they know it or not… And regardless of religion or belief or orthodoxy. So if you want to follow Jesus, here’s what you can do: Instead of looking for places to point fingers at groups of people and calling them “unclean” (and being an “expert in the law” about Muslims, immigrants, or transgender people looking for a safe place to pee), maybe try something else: Look for a place where someone is suffering, and then do something to ease their suffering. Look for a place where someone needs help, and then do something to help. Look for a place where someone needs to be loved, and then love them with everything you have.

And if you’re anything like me, and recent events have got you feeling less and less hopeful, maybe be more intentional about looking for stuff like these videos… Stuff that reminds you of The Image of God inside of us all. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Maybe that’s what he meant by “polluted by the world.” People have religion’d that phrase to mean “dirtied by non-believers,” but I think the pollution James was talking about might be cynicism. There are all kinds of reasons to be hopeful… We just have to look for them. And then, when we find them, we have to share them like crazy… Just because sometimes it’s easy for people to forget.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 1.55.36 AM

Even when faced with something as horrible and senseless as cancer, this smile reminds me that the darkness doesn’t stand a chance…

If you are one of the people who values this blog, you can help support it. The easiest way for you to do that is by BECOMING A PATRON. Alana Turner just did, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that there are people like her who believe in my writing enough to give. It is one of that keeps me filled with hope. Thank you, Alana! People can also give on PayPal, and if you do this, you can designate a post you would like for me to use your money to “boost” on Facebook, so that more people can read the one you think is important enough to share. Also, have you guys heard of this “Twitter” thing?

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8 Responses to Watch Florence & The Machine Sing To A Kid In Hospice

  1. gülüş says:

    thank

  2. gülüş says:

    çok üzüldüm.
    ve onu mutlu ettiğinize çok sevindim

  3. I love reading your blog so much. It gives me hope and inspiration and lets me know that there are good people out there. There are good people out there that are doing their best to help others and, in turn, are making the world a kinder, gentler place. Namaste!

  4. Lucy P. Franklin says:

    Wow, joyful tears Chris. Thank you. You have a way of beautifully writing what so many feel unable to express. I’ve never felt I belonged in a religious community but I’ve always known I’m firmly planted in a spiritual one. This latest post puts words to those feelings so well. Thanks again, LP

  5. Diana Afrouznia says:

    Oh gosh, I love Florence and the Machine. They were my sister’s favorite band before she passed. Her songs will always remind me of her, specifically Dog Days Are Over. ❤️ bless them for doing this.

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