Whatever you do, do your work from the soul, as for the Lord, rather than for men. – Colossians 3:23 (NASB)
If we were to play the “find something in your purse that tells us who you are” icebreaker, I would most certainly whip out my 4 color pen emblazoned with Thomas Jefferson’s words, “ I cannot live without books.” I’ve had a lifelong love affair with both novels and nonfiction, and I’m never more than an arms-length from the written word other than when I’m swimming in the ocean. And even then, there’s a paperback waiting for me in my beach bag.
I also confess to an inordinate desire for writing implements, and I’m constantly engaged in a quest for the perfect pen. As a child I longed for stamp pads and colored pencils, I begged my grandfather for his delicious new legal pads, and when my mom took us to the store I would always choose a treat from the stationery aisle rather than the toy department.
Today in 1 Samuel 16, as I continued my study in the life of David, I read how God used the young shepherd’s love and talent for music to minister peace. When King Saul suffered from severe bouts of depression and fear, his servants suggested music therapy:
“Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music and you will soon be well again.”
Whenever David played his harp for his king, Saul found relief. What a powerful gift God has given us in music!
I have let this blog go by the wayside for quite some time. I have been writing my dissertation on children’s literature and character education. Between that and FB status updates, my writing energy has been exhausted.
But I have just launched a website to support my growing music ministry and this space will be the forum for me to make updates, announcements or to respond to comments from you.
I invite you to scroll back through some of my postings from the past, when I had more time to think deep thoughts and to write about them creatively rather than academically, which is my current lot in life 🙂
For those to whom I promised the lyrics to the second verse of More and More:
God, O Great God you are proud of the meek, And your strength flows to those who admit they are weak. Spirit, Holy Spirit, you set my soul on fire But then the peace that you bring is my heart’s true desire.
I will be posting the video of the song from Daniel 2:20-22 as soon as I can. Keep checking back.
Every musician in the orchestra has to know how to do two things: how to make beautiful sounds and how to keep beautiful silences. If everyone played at once the music could not breathe. In those silences the player is not idle, nor drifting, nor detached. He is listening to the other notes, keeping his place in the flow and his eye on the conductor. What you don’t see is that he is counting measures.
There are times when he is playing the notes written on his own score, listening to the other players, carefully matching pitch and tempo and dynamics- playing in harmony. Then there are those brief moments when it is his turn for a solo, for the few bars where his instrument alone is intended to shimmer against the background laid down by the other performers.
The readiness is all. Years of lessons, hours of practice come to the fore when he is called upon to step out alone and let his light shine for a brief but glorious interval. It is the discipline of long periods of just counting measures that allow him to make his entrance and exit at the exact right moment.
During those silent times, when it seems that no one is watching or listening, that the sound of your instrument is not being heard at all, remember that you aren’t idle or sidelined; your place in the orchestra is secure and your notes are essential. Keep your eyes on the conductor while you keep that beautiful silence. Keep counting the measures, enjoying the music that surrounds you ; always leaning slightly forward, ready and able and waiting for your turn.
Perhaps the most joyous words Mary Magadalene ever spoke were those recorded in John 20:16: “Teacher”! Loving Jesus as she did, she had suffered much as she kept watch at the foot of the cross . She was among the final few who remained with him until he gave up his spirit. She witnessed his agonizing death pangs. She heard him cry out: “It is finished.” She watched as they laid him in his grave and sealed the tomb.
In the early morning darkness of the first day of the week, Mary returned to the grave of her beloved friend, mentor, and healer only to find it empty. In her distress, she assumed someone had stolen the body, and she ran to Simon Peter and John, his closest male friends, for help. John, who is telling us this story, reports that he went into the tomb , where “he saw and believed” that Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus had been watching at a distance as Peter and John made their astonishing discovery, probably grinning to himself as he watched his friends notice the neatly folded head cloth, and exulting at their discovery of the fact that he had really done what he’d said he would: he’d risen from the dead. John saw the evidence and believed- just like that. Having seen what he needed to see, he tells us he went home. Pragmatic. Some of the sisters among us might think, ” Now isn’t that just like a man?!”