Ben Vereen and Melony

A Bright Light Coming

by Ben Vereen


There is a sound inside the silence that calls to us in stillness. Somewhere there is a calling to live life to the fullest despite the negativity around us. The DIVINE protection surrounds us with the armor of LOVE. In here, we rest as our being is revived and fortified as it energizes our existence. In here, we fear nothing and no one that comes up against us. With this reinforcement of strength, we are caught up in the wonders of good, the plentiful abundance that life has to offer. Oh, how we shine with unspeakable joy. Come within and KNOW. Breathe Deep and Long!

In the winter of 2017, I stopped in a small shop on West 48th Street called Scent Elate in NYC. This store is known for crystals, incense, Lamp Berger, fine soaps, scented candles and a beautiful assortment of items that can be given as gifts. There is something about the energy of this shop owned by Mohamed Rum that is inviting, warm and nurturing. It is here that I first met Melony McGant. She was browsing and looked up at me and said “Ben Vereen, how wonderful to see you,” as if she had known me for years. She loved my hat which said “Spiritual Enforcer” and was familiar with much of my creative work. I felt strangely connected to this special, joyous spirit. We talked about many things going on in the world and the importance of kindness.  As I was leaving, she shared a paper titled Miss Mellie Rainbow’s Love Alphabet. For some reason I gave her my contact information. After I left, I felt joyful and uplifted.

Melony began sending me daily emails with her uplifting messages that always encouraged me to stop for a moment and breathe. Over the years, I have seen her share joy with others in remarkable ways. She came to see me perform at the Cutting Room and sat right in the front row. I could feel her joyful energy as I sang a variety of songs. Then I sang the “Love Train” and the next thing I knew, Melony had encouraged many others in the audience to dance and form an actual love train. It was a magical evening and I felt grateful to have such an appreciative audience.

Over the years, I have learned more about Melony and her remarkable Mother, Ms. Betty J. Tilman, who had worked at the University of Pittsburgh in international affairs for many years. Ms. Tilman was also one of the founding members of the University of Pittsburgh’s African Heritage Classroom/Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning, a beloved bridge builder, and community activist.

Good is Powerful Beyond Measure is a tribute to the work of Ms. Betty J. Tilman as well as a collection of sacred rememberings where people of all nationalities who know Melony McGant speak from their hearts. They have many titles ranging from actor, ambassador, artist, attorney, business owner, ceo, chef, civil servant, dancer, educator, filmmaker, grandfather, grandmother, healer, mentee, mentor to minister, musician, peace officer, photographer, publisher, psychologist, social worker, student, and writer. Their messages are united in healing, hope and light. No matter the circumstance, more than fifty people share their life lessons and their personal truths.

Good is Powerful Beyond Measure represents that no matter how difficult our lives may be, there is always a bright light coming from within, if we allow it. There is a sweet voice heard in us that wants to guide us to the top of the hill to look out over the possibilities of any day. All we have to do is choose goodness. The good that we choose can and will blossom over time. Most of all, remember that as we wrap ourselves in the light of GOOD, we become the light and shine through and above all the darkness.

I invite you to read the many reflections in this anthology of Goodness.