God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Music to Sooth the Soul

16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better." 17 So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me." …  23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
1 Samuel 16:14-23

How has music soothed your soul? 

When I was in a freshman in high school my father took a new preaching gig in a small town in farm country.  A place and people where I never fit or was allowed to fit.  So I lost myself in music.  I would poor out my heart every afternoon when I got home from school:  singing my pain and hope.  I sang the songs form Fame one of my favorite TV shows.  Even though my parents hadn’t allowed me to see the movie, I sang the songs.  The hope of shining bright as the body electric or the pain of Out here on my Own.  I played Shuman and Beethoven.  Letting the music carry me way from a place where it hurt to go to school.  My poor siblings and parents had to hear the tears unshed.  Music to sooth your soul.    

I again needed music to sooth my soul when I was going through my divorce.  I had this long trip I took every weekend from one side of Connecticut to the other so my son could stay connected to his dad.  When my son was in the car, we listened to his favorite tapes.  When I had the 2 to 4 hour drive back I started listening to the radio but my normally stations were playing the songs of falling in love.  Not what I was interested in hearing.  But then my family’s favorite music hit home.  I started listening to the country station and the “You've done me wrong Songs” hit the spot.  The Dixie Chicks Goodbye Earl was popular. As I healed my need for those songs changed.  Music to sooth your soul.

The soothing power of music became clear to me when I did my CPE unit.  One of the chaplains was learning to follow David’s practice of playing his hammer dulcimer and seeing relief come to his patients.  I could see the music bring hope to the entire wing as he played.  People became quiet.  The restless patients became calm if only for a moment.  This power of music hit home with one of my patients.  As I was leaving for the night, a family came into the room of a woman who was expected to make it through the night.  They started singing and sang this woman into the next world.  The patients around her asked what had happened last night and many spoke of how they wanted to be led out of this world in the same manner.  Music to sooth your soul. 

What songs do you think David played to Saul to sooth his soul?

Can you hear David sing when Saul was fearful:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! Psalm 27:1, 9

Can you hear David sing when Saul was worried about forgiveness:
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 
Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! 
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? 
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. 
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 
my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.  Psalm 130

Can you hear David sing to Saul when he was lost in depression:
 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. 
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. 
For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.  Psalm 30

When Saul we paranoid and feeling surrounded by enemy can you hear David sing:
 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 
I fear no evil; for you are with me;
 your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.  Psalm 23

And then some days, the good day David sang to Saul and Saul joined in:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— 
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 
who satisfies you with good as long as you live 
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103

David sang the music that soothes the troubled soul.  

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