What More Can We Give?

Almost every morning I wake up and look out my bedroom window and start talking to God. I don’t have a standard thing I say. If someone were to hear my thoughts, they might think that some of what I say sounds like a standard prayer. Sometimes parts of Bible verses pop into my head and then I’ll grab my phone and go to biblegateway.com to look up the whole thing. There are also times when what pops into my head is just random. It might be some scene from a long ago watched movie, a portion of a conversation I had with someone, or like today, a memory that almost two decades ago, Michael Jackson was supposed to be coming out with a song called What More Can I Give? as a response to the events of September 11.

I may have heard the song once before. I really don’t recall. But the question the song poses has popped into my head many times. And nearly every time that it does, I wonder what ever happened to that song that Michael and the many other people involved in it thought would be the next  We Are the World and would bring people together by having them ask that question of themselves.

Well this morning, I decided to look up the song. I was surprised to see how many singers from that day were on the song. Even Beyonce and Celine Dion were on it and I doubt many people have heard of it. At first it was very surprising to me.  But after listening to the lyrics and thinking about what the song was asking of the listeners, I can only imagine that this song went nowhere because it was ahead of it’s time. At the time of this song’s delayed release, we were heavily engaged in a war of retribution over the very attack that the song was in response to. See lyrics below and ask yourself if it is congruent with the campaign our nation was in at the time and then ask yourself, do you think you can give what the song asks of you. I’m working on it every day and I can’t say that I can give it all of the time.

“What More Can I Give”
(feat. various artists)

[Celine Dion:] How many people will have to die before we will take a stand?

[Billy Gilman:] How many children will have to cry, before we do all we can?

[Reba McEntire:] If sending your love is all you can give

[Nick Carter:] To help one live

[Usher:] How many times can we turn our heads

[Brian McKnight:] And pretend we cannot see

[Mariah Carey:] Healing the wounds of our broken earth
We are one global family

[Jon Secada:] Just sending your prayers

[Beyonce:] Is something you’ll feel
Helping one heal

[Chorus:]
[MJ:] What have I got that I can give?

[*NSYNC:] What have I got that I can give?

[Luther Vandross:] (Tell me)

[MJ:] What have I got that I can give?

[Justin Timberlake:] (Yeah, yeah, uh, uh)

[*NSYNC:] To love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give?

[Aaron Carter:] Brother to brother

[Mya:] lay down our fears and reach out and make a pact

[Gloria Estefan:] Show him the love that is in our hearts let us bring salvation back

[Luther Vandross:] Just sending your love has the power to heal

[Shawn Stockman:] So let’s all give

[Chorus:]

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[Luther Vandross:] (Is not allowed to give just a little bit)

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[Luther Vandross:] (Everyone should be a part of it)

[All:] To love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give?

[MJ:] Say the words
I’ll lay me down for you

[Celine:] Just call my name
I am your friend

[MJ:] See, then why do they keep teaching us
Such hate and cruelty?
We should give over and over again

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[MJ:] (We should give over and over again!)

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[MJ:] (Oh my god, oh my god)

[Boyz II Men:] (Oh my Lord)

[All:] See, to love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give?

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[Mariah:] Aahh…

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[MJ:] (give you, give to you)

[All:] See, to love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give?

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[Celine:] (What More Can I give?)

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[MJ:] (I wanna give to you, give it to you)

[All:] See, to love and to teach you
To hold and to need you
What more can I give

[MJ:] (they think I’m crazy but I’m not!)

[2nd Chorus:]

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[MJ:] (To give it to you)

[Mariah:] Aahh..

[MJ:] (we wanna give to you!)

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

To hold and conceal you
(Oh, no, yeah, yeah, yeah)

[All:] To love and to heal you
What more can I give?
(Give me, give me one time more)
What have I got that I can give?

[Gloria Estefan:] (What I got, what have I got)
(Say your prayers)
What have I got that I can give?
(Show the world how much you really care)
To love and to teach you

[Celine:] (To love you, teach you)
To hold and to need you

[Celine:] (To hold you, to need you)
(What more?)
What more can I give?

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

[3LW:] (What can I give? Tell me what can I give you)

[All:] What have I got that I can give?

To hold and conceal you
To love and to heal you
What more can I give?

After listening to this song, I have chosen to see it as a response to my inquiry–“What more can I give?” As always, the answer is more love. So that is what I am working on. I’m not going to pretend that I know what shape that will take or expect that everyone will perceive my words and actions as being the most loving. But I can promise to do my best as God gives me strength and if I can be of encouragement to others working toward this effort I will.

Peace.


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