The phrase “preaching to the choir” is a clever way to say one is trying to make believers out of people who already believe, or convince people who are already convinced. The exact phrase first appears in print in the 1970s, but is the same idea as an earlier phrase - “preaching to the converted” - which is first used by John Stuart Mill in An Examination of Sir W. Hamilton's Philosophy, 1867.
The idea has also been expressed in another phrase that refers to an unnecessary act, i.e. “kicking at an open door.”
I am going to preach to the choir in this blog post.
The choir is the community of grieving people.
I am pretty certain you already believe what I will say in this post in your heart-of-hearts. Some are living it – but some perhaps not fully, not completely.
Our grieving community - the “choir” members - are often directed by our culture (the conductor of our thoughts and endorsed feelings) not to sing appassionato (with passion). We allow a guest conductor to signal silence or a monotonous tune and the choir is complying to spare the non-grieving world their discomfort.
I talk, write, read and instant message hundreds of grieving people a week. Often there are a chorus of questions seeking affirmation from others, such as: “Does anyone else feel like ...? How can I avoid being totally insane?... When will I feel normal...? How do I do this ____ without making everyone feel _______...? Am I crazy...?”
Your grief creates a dilemma.
Choir of Grieving People: is “normal” a song that you really want to sing anymore? Maybe “normal” – as packaged by western societal messages – is the most boring, predictable but empty tune out there. And to be honest - your real-life situation of losing a loved one – is actually, statistically, more “normal” than you have been lead to believe.
Have you allowed the world to tell you that your passionate song is wrong? Your tune does not leave the people around you with a comfortable, happy feeling. Do you feel you must hide your love away rather than to disrupt their preferred monotone and droning noise?
It is like our world favors a collapsed tonal scale – and this endorsed and promoted scale has become a sell-out concert for life.
Do we truthfully believe that non-grieving people can tell grieving people how to sing this song of grief? If we do believe it, we have given away our song, our strength, our voice.
What would it mean to you to reject the atmospheric pressure of shame around grief which will, in turn, cause the non-grieving world to either cover their ears or to, at last, to begin listening?
Is the “normal world” with it's denial and lies so attractive and seductive to cause you to abandon yourself and betray your song? You, by being authentically you, can lift your voice and the voice of those grieving along side of you above the suffering of being cultural outcasts in addition to the suffering of your grief. You have an opportunity, as a grieving person, to be fully alive and real in your loss. It is a perfect moment to shed the lies and the half-truths that you have been dressed in for your entire life and sing.