Can you hear?

 “Goldberg sang many songs for them, songs that began merrily in the hills and fell softly down into silence; and in the silences they saw in their minds pools and waters wider than they had known, and looking into them they saw the sky below them, and the stars like jewels in the depths.”
                Taken from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings

To be able to hear is a precious thing. A new born baby, long before experiencing the miracle of seeing in this material world will first hear from deep within their mother’s womb. What we hear shapes our inner narrative, informing our elemental drive and passion of what is to come. What we hear is a precursor to seeing.

Whilst spoken lamguage is important, music, with its added dimension of harmony, melody and rhythm can move us to cry, be happy and dance in a unique and amazing way. It can help us recover our personal feelings or even exorcise them as a group or community in situations of despair, war or violence.

Back in the medieval days, society readily understood this, elevating the troubadours almost to the rank of nobility. Centuries earlier the Celts regarded the bards as having almost mystical powers. They were renowned for their storytelling and musical skills.

Stretching back into Biblical times Miriam, who is credited with spontaneously writing the very first hymn intuitively, took up this important role as she stood on the banks of the Red Sea celebrating in song and music the defeat of the oppressor, the Egyptian army. By singing, dancing and stridently playing her tambourine she embodied the emotion of a nation. Spilling out in praise to God.

One of the best ways of communicating to and about that God is through the medium of music. Music touches the human spirit. The musician prophet can awaken people from all walks of life to behold a God who is already present. He or she can create a hunger to begin to see in a new way.

In our inner world things can at times seem murky and unclear. Isolation, fear and our pain can make so many of us feel as Dorothy Rowe, the internationally respected psychologist, puts it, ‘we feel that we are falling through the universe with no floor at our feet.’ Music can bring solace and comfort, and by hearing become the forerunner to help us turn to face a journey of beginning to see differently.

I long to see God’s minstrels sing of a new land and a new hope and with using a variety of cadences sing of His sonnet...  a song of freedom pitched in the key of grace.