Tuesday, September 12, 2006


So says the large outdoor sign on Woodward Avenue at the nearly one hundred year old St. James Catholic Church. St. James has served Catholic families in this small working class suburb of Ferndale, Michigan since the beginning of the last century. Irish and Italian automobile factory workers moved here in the early 1900's to what was then farmland and bogs filled with bright green ferns. The church was one of the first buildings to go up, from what was then a chicken house.

St. James decided to become an "Alberta Adams" level sponsor of the Ferndale Metro Blues Festival V, which delighted the festival organizers. Local churches have supported the annual music festival each year with blues brunches at the Lutheran church and jazz concerts at the Methodist.

And of course, God would Love the Blues. He has watched his people suffer wars and pestilence since the beginning of time. He commiserates with those who hurt or are lost or suffering. And if Blues music is the sound by which we soothe the pain that comes with life, then God may well have had a hand in its creation as well. Surely he gave us the tools by which to use sound, and words, and instruments, and emotion to create that which we call Blues.

When one hears the mournful words of a good blues song, one will often nod his or her head in acknowledgement of the pain and hurt and disappointment that often comes with life. But as we sing the words, and create the music, and share the feelings, we thereby release and celebrate the very human emotions that are inside. We feel better because we know we are not alone.

When I read the sign at St. James, I just nodded my head and smiled. God Loves the Blues


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