January 29, 2013 by Pastor Ben McIntire
“It’s a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes,
It’s a world of fear.
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware,
It’s a small world after all.”
It’s arguably the most performed and most widely translated piece of music on Earth. And if you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park and ridden the ride of the same name, you know it is also one of the most difficult songs to get out of your head for weeks afterward.
Having visited Disneyland earlier this month, I am still humming bits of the song every now and then. Since it’s still so fresh in my mind, the truth of the song is even easier to spot in daily life. Just last week I went to visit one of my parishioners who was recently moved to a nursing home in Omaha, about two hours away. When I walked through the door, I was greeted by none other than my cousin, Katie!
She said, “Hi! What are you doing here?” Masking my own surprise, I said, “Coming to visit you! It’s been awhile, just wanted to see how you’re doing.” She looked really confused and then I told her about the reason for my visit. I had known she worked at a nursing home in Omaha, I just never knew which one. It’s a small world.
For anyone who has never been or heard about the ride, “It’s a Small World” was designed and created for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, and later moved to Disneyland and rebuilt. The song itself was written by brothers, Disney staff songwriters, Robert and Richard Sherman. The ride is a tour of the world on miniature scale (Hence “small” world), with children from the different geographies of Earth all singing the same song in their various languages. The theme and lyrics are meant to convey a sense of unity and peace among the different peoples of the world, as well as being a celebration of the diversity of life in God’s Creation.
I offer this post as a simple reminder that although the world often seems full of tears and fears, overwhelming in size and scope—it’s a small world after all. There is also laughter and hope. As we consider how much we share with all human beings around the world: the earth, skies, seas and the bounty of life and resources they contain, we should feel humbled and privileged to share in this life and also the responsibility to care for the world and for our neighbors upon it.
Heavenly Father, you created me and all people who live upon the Earth. Help me to remember this and to live in a way that glorifies the beauty and diversity of your creation. Help me to live with love for my neighbors, and even my enemies. May your divine Peace be upon me and this whole world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.