The last time I was brought to my knees in tears and gratitude must have been 3 or 4 years ago. I don’t know what sparked it then, but I do know what sparked it now. Somehow, I stumbled across a Jennifer Holliday video, and that lead me down a path of more gospel videos. I found myself in complete awe of how self-expressed the singers were. As if they were empty, a complete open vessel for Spirit to pass though. Each singer was unique, yet each signer belting out gratitude & grace equally.
I’m left humble, and speechless. Open, and so grateful for what is my life. Being grateful is very much like being loving. It’s the highest path, highest road, without limits or an end. It’s all-encompassing and powerful. Like love, it can shake you at your core and sober you, wake you up to the truth.
Someone asked me recently, what I recommend to turn one’s life around, to cause a transformation. I said only Grace can propel a real transformation and awakening, but gratitude is a sure-fire way to get someone’s life on track fast.
I wrote a blog post on Grace in 2010. My definition of Grace might be different from the average person’s. The blog post was titled, Cultivating Grace: Survival of the Most Harmonious When I talk about Grace, it isn’t linked to a religion or meant in a religious way at all. But I do consider it spiritual, and of Spirit.
In the song Jennifer Holliday sang, I heard the words, “I sing because I am happy, I sing because I am free.” Deep moments of gratitude show me that no matter what the circumstances, I am always free, and joy is always present. Like peace, joy & freedom are not things that you can physically get or strive for — they can only be known & felt. They are available always, in every moment. But it usually takes an unconditional acceptance of the world and of one’s life. Seeing the whole, instead of fragmented pieces. Seeing how divine & miraculous life is.
I’ve embedded the video of Jennifer Holliday singing ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow,’ and also of Al Green, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin. The songs Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin sing in the videos are not gospel songs, but you can see the gospel influence in how they sing them.
Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross & Aretha Franklin