Inspirational Spirituals

“Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan, and I what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home

If you get there before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I coming too
Coming for to carry me home

I’m sometimes up, I’m sometimes down
Coming for to carry me home
But still my soul feels heavenly bound
Coming for to carry me home”

I grew up hearing this and some of the other famous spirituals, both those from the slave years and the years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Each time I hear this song, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, or another like it, I’m reminded of the past, both mine and that of African Americans.  This month as we’re celebrating Black History, I wanted to take a moment to honor the creative souls who came up with these songs.

This song reveals a lot about creativity, both in words and in creation.  Let’s see how creativity unites us all:

First, the only colors creativity sees are the ones used in words or artistry. It isn’t a “picker” of persons, and anyone can be creative, no matter what you look like or who you are.

Second, much of creativity does have to do with that “something bigger” many of us feel in life.  Whether you call it God, Being, Abba, or something else, creativity often is used to both display and understand what we’re all doing here, and who we are.

Third, creativity connects people.  It doesn’t matter if you were alive when David was carved, the Pyramids were built, rock music was born or tapestries were woven, just by witnessing these things you too can connect with the artist.

Finally, love what you do regardless of the recognition.  Those who sang the spirituals initially weren’t recognized as master singers or writers in their day, and many artists are never truly recognized for their potential.  That doesn’t make what you’re creating any less important.

If you’re a creative person, keep creating, the world is just waiting for your work.  If you’re less artistically talented, don’t let that worry you, you can do your part to spread the beauty of creativity too.  Tell a friend about something creative or thank an artist today!

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