A Song Like No Other

Like the exiles returning from Babylon, those who served in the military have lived in an alien land — and the readjustment is not easy.

The Scripture

Psalm 98
told by Deborah

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for the Lord has done marvelous things;
the Lord whose strength brought forth victory.

The victory was revealed in the eyes of the people, who were redeemed and restored in God’s faithful love; His mercy unfailing, unfading, extending through eternity.

The whole world celebrates the glory of the Lord: rivers, and seas, and skies, mountains, hills, and valleys, forests, pastures, and desert lands, creatures that walk and crawl and swim and fly.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.

All God’s people, praise the Lord.

Sing out, shout out, ring the bells, strum the harp, strike the drum, blow the trumpet, and stamp your feet!

rejoice in the Presence of the Lord.

Photo of a flower

Reflection by Deborah Beach Giordano
November 11, 2019

A Psalm for Military Veterans

Sing to the Lord a new song
a different song
a song of an alien land;
a song rung forth
from human hearts
a soul-song like no other;

mingled strains
of courage
and commitment,
fear and trembling,
grandeur, glory,
horror, honor,
and humility;

a song like no other;

wind-blown notes,
unspoken words
on oil-stained soles

a song sung by a chorus
like no other;
voices of experience,
with dust and sand
mud and blood
and acrid fumes

and memories
like no others;

Sing to the Lord a new song
O children of the Lord:
the song that only you can sing —
your song
of an alien land;

a land like no other

a place of light
and shadow
where what was known
has been erased

by routines
punctuated by confusion;
by order
disrupted by furor;

where nothing is certain,
nothing assured,
only a single moment,
contained in eternity
a transforming reality.

You alone, O returned exiles,
can sing the martial hymn
of valor and virtue
and violence,
of lost and won battles,
and won and lost happiness;

you alone can sing
the song of an alien land
a song like no other.

Bald Eagle

Maya Angelou famously wrote “why the caged bird sings” but, in reality, only the bird knows the reason for his singing — and every bird is unique. We can only begin to understand the whys by listening to the words of those who know the song.

May God’s unstinting grace and healing love abound,


Suggested Spiritual Exercise