Songs of Hope
Recently, I have noticed the incredible role music, particularly singing, plays in the lives of the girls at the Hope House.
Throughout their day, their home and experiences are filled with songs! Each morning, many of the tías (staff) who have completed the overnight shift put music on while waking up the girls. I do too. Sometimes I put on peaceful music on the big speaker as I am walking around waking them up. Other times when they are having a particularly hard time getting up, I put on Young and Free or some other dance music and go into their rooms dancing and singing. Usually they look at me like I am insane, and then they laugh and get up. Often times, they will sing along once they are up.
When they get home from school, they eat and do their homework. After that, it is not unusual to hear more music! They will ask to put music on the big speaker and do several dances together in the living room. Many times, the girls who are not dancing are singing along to the songs on the speaker.
On Friday afternoons they have activity clubs, and Ms. Ashley teaches them many things about music. They learn to play piano and guitar, and they learn to sing beautiful songs, which they love to perform when special guests come to visit the Hope House.
Three times a week they attend church. There is always a group of musicians leading in the singing of songs together, but there is no sound in the world like hearing 50 girls loudly singing along in one voice, proclaiming the goodness and promises of God! They are the unofficial choir, and they sound spectacular!
Often times in the evening, as I am putting them to bed, I hear individuals or groups singing a song or two before bed. It is such a beautiful practice, and I always find myself smiling at their sweetness as I walk around checking their rooms.
As I have reflected on all of this, I keep thinking of what it means for girls who have been through so much pain, so much difficulty, and so much trauma to sing continually. It is truly amazing, breathtakingly incredible actually! Their stories haven’t broken them. Their stories haven’t stolen their joy. Their stories haven’t won.
Their stories are being re-written, full of joy, full of love, and full of hope. They are singing God’s promises over themselves. They are singing healing over themselves. Most of all, they are singing hope over themselves, one song at a time.