I believe in the power of one human voice.

"Benazir Bhutto is dead after gunfire and a suicide bomber targeted her vehicle as she left a campaign rally." Pakistan is in chaos today. The collective voices of the people cry out in rage and grief. The news shows the crowds. I am sure, however, that what God hears is the voice of this one man. And each other single human being. I believe in the power of this man's voice.

This is not the US Army's ill-advised former recruitment slogan of "army of one." An army of one is a pretty bad idea. That's a mercenary. Or a maverick zealot. Or someone utterly deranged. Armies need more than one, even if they must move as one. (And if you talk very long to anyone in the army, you will discover that the reality behind the seemingly organized and unified movement of an army is mostly the stuff of legends and ideals. It's actually a bit messier than that. Okay, a lot messier.)

No, the power of the single human voice is not the idealization of the individual. It is, I think, quite the opposite. The power of the single human voice comes from its place in the whole of the choir of voices.The whole choir of humanity knows the ancient tones of grief - and sings the parts in the songs of freedom. Every once in awhile, a soloist stands out. Above the voices of the rest of the choir, and woven in among them, we hear that one voice, "soaring, dying 'round Thy throne," and calling us in "the moment to decide." Its clarity sears us deep within our souls and we can try again to tune ourselves to the human song.Today I hear the voices of the people in the streets of Pakistan. God hears them too. And I believe - because I think I have seen it over and over in just my own short lifetime - that when the one voice sings the True Song, others will hear it and join in. I do not think the soloist's voice, in true pitch, once heard, can ever be silenced. That is its power. "Heal the anguish of the world" is a prayer that gets answered in the choir.

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