The Power of Music

Son can you play me a memory. I’m not really sure how it goes…

Some people measure their lives in photographs. I measure mine in music. I’m a sentimentalist, but not much of photographer. I don’t have photos on my desk or walls. I have to remind myself to take photos at opportune moments, telling myself that I will appreciate them in five years.

Instead, entire periods of my life are eternally captured in three minute audio files. I can put on a song, and instantly I am transported to that moment, or that time in my life. The sights, smells, people and emotions comes flooding back like a video in my head. That home, that roommate, that trip, those people…they all come to life in my head. It works the reverse too. At any given point in my life, I can hear a song, and without warning, my soul takes a photograph. Many times, I won’t even know why.

I should have been a musician.

Over the years, I have learned to pay attention to the music. I have learned the music will unravel things in my heart and head that I didn’t even know were there. Most of all, I have learned to find God in music.

In the quiet, still of a prayer meeting, as the worship softly meanders and the worshippers sway, I can’t hear God. I can only hear my stomach, or the ache in my legs from standing, or I feel the heavy weight of my eyelids. I wonder about the artwork on the wall, or what kind of life the worship leader has. What kind of car does she drive? What’s his home life like? Standing there, with a microphone, and perfect hair, she looks so together. Is she really like that? By the time I am finished my pondering, the worship is over and the next portion of the service begins.

But, when I am alone, the music and guitars blare at “eleven,” (or as loud as my iPod can go) I can very clearly hear the still, small voice of God. It is unraveled in the raw emotive power of music, and the honest, human lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics are Christian. Sometimes they are inspirational Jesus pop songs, or the poetic prayers of saints set to music. Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes the music is about things we don’t speak about in church, or contains those naughty words that we don’t mention in polite company. It doesn’t matter. My mind clears and everything begins to make sense. Whatever problem I am confronting, suddenly becomes perfectly clear.

It’s a thing between me and God. It’s always been that way.


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