Songs and Expressions
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our expressions of the same emotion can differ. Then, dwelling on this verse from Psalm 104:33-34, "I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord,” I began to realize that music can help us in working out our heart’s understanding of these emotions. Take wonder, for instance. It has a couple different forms. Certain days, it feels right to be bubbling with joy and wonder for the work God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in the world. Other days, that same force that brings the effervescent joy brings instead the calm, quiet, deep gratitude of wonder that is best enjoyed in stillness. This week, I flew home from a work trip during which God really spoke to me about people—their heavy, beautiful worth, and their absolutely unique representation of the Creator. I deepened established friendships and was blessed with new ones. It was grand and sad at the same time, to be leaving that experience. The whole flight home, Sleeping At Last’s song, “Saturn” was in my ears and on my heart. The line that churned in my chest goes like this: “With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite, how rare and beautiful it is to even exist.” Listen to it here. I don’t know why a song can convey, in a simple string of words, the beauty God sees fit to steep us in. But this song did it perfectly. And as we’re meeting together for Evening Prayer at Incarnation this summer, it reminded me that the gift of song, primarily to worship, but also to convey His large and undefinable truths, is something not to take for granted. I'm grateful for what these tunes help us express, whether it be the bubbly joy of wonder or the weighty thankfulness that is its other face. How rare and beautiful it is, indeed.