Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Follow the Music!

I was flipping through the channels the other night and stopped to watch a bit of the Grammy's and was reminded of how much I adore music.  I am incredibly envious (in the most Christian wasy possible) of those whom God has blessed with the gift of creating beautiful songs, melodies and harmonies

I love the arts.  I enjoy spending time in museums looking at paintings and sculpture, I like reading poetry and prose, getting lost in great literature, even pondering deep thoughts, presented in the pages of non-fiction. I relish the times when I get to pour myself into a painting, or when I can capture an image on film that speaks a thousand words, or when I can phrase a feeling just right so that it elicits an emotion in the heart of the reader.  However above all these things music is what speaks most profoundly to my heart.  If I could take any one thing on a deserted island with me, it would be a fully loaded I-pod (with the bible on it).   God speaks so powerfully to me, through the words and melodies of music and song (all genres).  I believe that music is a healing gift. To that end I would suggest that the world would be an incredibly more barren and destitute place of great moral depravity if it were not for God's gift of music. I would even argue that we would not live as long if our world was void of music and song. 

I quite agree and relate to Martin Luther who is quoted as saying "Music is an outstanding gift of God and next to theology, I would not give up my slight knowledge of music for a great consideration.  And youth should be taught this art; for it makes fine skillful people."~Martin Luther"

Music is a gift from God and has been an integral form of connection with God since the beginning of time.  In Job 38:7 God asks Job where were you when I created the world, "while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" Music is a gift for God, an expression of the image of God within us, an offering of praise through song.  "Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth." Psalm 96:1.  It is perhaps one of the greatest means by which we can adequately express the overwhelming emotion that fills our hearts, the conversation our spirit wants to have with our heavenly Father. I truly believe that God himself is speaking to us through the songs He inspires his children to write, (Secular and Christian). When I claim that music is a powerful form of healing, I mean it in the literal sense. Music ministers to a person's spirit, soul, mind and even body. It is well documented and has been proven scientifically that music has the ability to heal people. Music is by it's very nature divine. It is incapable of being touched, yet it touches everyone who is capable of hearing sounds. This healing can only be attributed to God. The music is delivered through man, but it is ultimately created by God

Someone once asked me if I had to make a choice would I choose to be blind or deaf.  That is such a difficult choice for me, as I love art and find so much beauty in God's creation.  I think, though that I would have to choose sound over sight.  Eyes can be a deceitful and prejudiced thing.  Perhaps without the use of sight, I would actually see more clearly, see things for what they truly are not blinded by the bias of what I see with my eyes, instead depending on listening to the heart.  As my hearing became more attuned without the use of sight, I might be able to hear from God more clearly and even hear the faint song of His creation as it sings its melody, even the sound of the stars singing [Job 38:7]

The following piece of prose, a favourite of mine, is a wonderful illustration of beauty, power and healing expressed through music:

For half a lifetime he wandered the empty night, alone and hopeless, until a simple melody pierced the darkness and caught his attention. Making the melody was a young man, a musician, with a sensitive ear, and an even more sensitive heart. The musician walked the same street, but he walked, not by sight, but by sound. As he encountered people he saw beyond their masks. He heard the sounds of their voices and felt the rhythm of their heartbeats. He saw each life as an instrument and within each heart a potential melody. And though one man hid behind his sunglasses, the musician heard his heart. Rather than trusting his vision, he used his music to pierce through the empty shell, and like the clapper in a church bell, encouraged the sound of love to ring out from the darkness.

As that love rang out, the musician was himself touched. He realized he could do more than just listen to the music of others -- he could do more than simply share a melody. With his sensitive ear, and his more sensitive heart, he could help tune other instruments and help other hearts make a melody. He discovered that a solitary note in a lightless reality could be added to his own, and two notes provide a wonderful harmony. They compliment each other. As the harmony grows, new notes are shared and in time a melody of praise and worship fills the air!

A solitary figure stumbling down a darkened street is replaced by two musicians dancing in the sunlight as the sound of their music drives away the darkness. They know their most significant achievement is their song. Sometimes their moving melodies diverge and at other times they are again rejoined in harmony. Sometimes the timing is out of sync and the notes are flat. There may be moments of discord, but the music continues and, with it, others draw near to listen. Soon, they also join in the song as each rings out in his own special way. In time, as each plays his part, the Composer's manuscript will be heard as he intended--as a grand symphony of Praise and Worship.

Take note when you can't see in the dark, you can follow the music!

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