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Jump the Freedom Train

I’ve been listening to Kate Campbell for about 10 years now. I heard her interviewed one morning on the way to the library in back in 2001. She had just released an Album entitled “Wandering Strange.” I ordered a CD. And soon I bought another and another. Each one is an amazing contribution to the world of Americana music. It is also has made important contributions to my own life.

Kate often introduces her songs with a story. Many songs are in themselves a story. Her lyrics and music are intertwined with many stories and moments of my life over the last decade. More than once, they have played a role in my healing from loss and grief.

Some of Kate’s music that I love most is not easy to find as live performances on youtube. For this season of Lent, I’m trying to participate in, and share here something of the practice of visio divina.* So I’ve chosen a song by Kate Campbell that ended up on her album “Blues and Lamentations” (2005).

Freedom Train starts with a line from Martin Luther King’s last speech given in Memphis the night before he was killed at the Lorraine Motel. (I blogged about my visit to Memphis during Epiphany.)

“I have stood on the mountain. I have seen the promised land.”

Moses. Harriet Tubman. Martin Luther King, Jr. They each saw beyond the moments in which they lived. Into a land of promise and healing,  freedom and reconciliation. Hope. It was a costly vision for each of them, a vision for which they gave their lives in their living and in their dying.

In my better moments, I think of standing on a high place and seeing ahead, seeing a new way of living. Transcending my pettiness, small thinking, anger, meager hope, small dreams. I see a better way to be human, living toward a courage and wholeness that embraces and embodies God’s freedom and love. In my better moments.

What do you see when you stand on the mountain?

What promise of freedom lures you to live your life differently?

Will you jump that train?

  • For Lent I’m practicing a pop-culture version of visio divina – divine viewing. It is somewhat like lectio divina – divine reading – which may be more familiar. Each post this season includes a link to a video and some introduction, commentary or questions. The hope with each is to find links to cultural texts of healing which are in conversation with our stories and lives and the stories and lives of scripture.