From the very beginning of my memory, music was an integral part of my faith expression. I can remember sitting in the “old” sanctuary of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Farmington, New Mexico – I must have been somewhere between 4 and 5 years of age – and watching the college group give a performance of a cantata/musical on the life of Christ “He Lived a Good Life”. We somehow ended up with the record of the show. (Yes, record. Vinyl.) 40 years later, I can still sing some of those songs without missing a lyric. When Emmanuel built their new sanctuary, I can remember sitting in the pews, basking in the amazing sounds of the adult choir as they rehearsed the Gather Easter cantata “Alleluia” or the bi-centennial celebration musical entitled “Fabric of Freedom” and a personal favorite – “The Apostle” based on the life of Paul. And yes, there are still some songs from each of those that I remember. Songs I learned as a child that can still be recalled decades later!!
Those memories aren’t just pleasant. There was something overwhelming in each of them. I can remember the choir being moved to tears during a performance of “Alleluia” and being overcome myself. As a small child, watching a song touch your own father to such a depth that tears pour down his cheeks? That’s powerful.
As if that wasn’t enough, I was surrounded by music at home. My mother and father both sang (daddy’s a bass, mom’s an alto) and there was a piano in the home. I began taking piano lessons at the age of 4 and 1/2. The record player was always full of music, usually LOTS of southern gospel!
I could go on for quite some time about powerful music services I’ve been in, worship songs that have impacted my life in intense ways, songs that have helped with emotional healing at a time when it was most needed. Hopefully, you get the idea that music is a powerful, even necessary piece of my faith-walk. This is especially true of music in a community setting; congregational, if you prefer that word.
Lately, I feel completely directionless and uninspired in the area of music as it connects to my faith and it hurts. I don’t know what the cause is and to start speculating would be useless. I don’t know what the cure is. All I know is that I seem to just be going through the motions lately. Every so often one song will strike a chord with me. And there are times in my private music listening moments that my heart is touched, my emotions are stirred, I am comforted. But it’s not happening in community and I don’t know why.
You’re going to say I should pray about it. You would be absolutely right. I have been. For months. And I’m no closer to understanding my situation or finding a solution than I was when I started. So I will keep praying. I will find times to simply “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). Some of you might suggest I speak to my Pastor. Well, that’s kind of a weird situation – my Pastor is my hubby. I don’t really want to dump this on him. So I’m praying about seeking counsel elsewhere (don’t worry – I’m doing that with hubby’s blessing and we are praying together about the situation as a whole!).
God never wastes anything so I’m sure there is a lesson in this regardless of the cause or the outcome. And if you feel led to pray, I would certainly appreciate it!