The songs of my children
Every day I become aware that I have had a melody or refrain of a song looping through my mind for hours, and lately the refrains come from a very limited but poignant list of songs; the songs of my children. I have four kids (actually they are all now young adults) and one of the hopes I have always had for these beautiful people is that they all receive the gift of song.
As humans we are all given the gift of music, both to appreciate as a part of God’s creation, and to elevate our own unique spirits. Everyone has the gift, and with the gift, the invitation to respond. Some respond by developing a taste or an appetite for music in general, and then as a preference to certain genre(s) of music; a preference that matures over time. Others respond with their own song, simply by raising their voice to sing. Of the later, there are those whose song becomes a dialogue of sorts between the ‘music of life’ they hear both internally and externally, and the song they sing as a response to that ‘music of life’.
The music of life is simply a glimpse of the beauty of God reflected in creation, whether that beauty is that of nature itself, or even the ‘beauty’ of the sound of the groaning of creation in human suffering, struggle, joy, and happiness. Since all basic elements in our created world are good in and of themselves because they are created by God, the ultimate good, all these elements of life resonate with the truth, which is implicitly beautiful. So even suffering, when voiced in song is an act of hope, because it’s either someone singing with empathy for those who can’t find their voice because they are paralyzed in fear and loneliness, or it reflects the confidence in the suffering singer that one day all their tears will be wiped away and the pain will bear fruit somehow.
Hope can’t help but sing. Hope is the assertion that no matter what the trial, there is a destination that will be reached one way or the other. Hope is the gift from God planted deep in our hearts that believes that we all are created worthy of complete fulfillment, healing and wholeness despite our current, temporary circumstances of woundedness and fractured spirits. Hope is truly a gift, and its song rises each morning as a gift from God Himself if we but listen. Yet we are given a choice to listen, and respond in kind, or reject the song of hope.
Yes there are those who sing despair, and whose songs reject the ‘chance for wholeness’ offered by each new day. Yet these songs are based on a lie and those who sing them have been deceived into thinking they have been excluded from the inheritance of hope offered by God the Eternal Mercy who alone has the ability to take that which seems destined for eternal destruction and reveal a straight and clear path of light out from the pit of despair. No one who can sing is a ‘lost cause’.
A friend once mentioned to me that at a very basic level he was happy that he was a musician, because he knew that he would never starve; at the worst he could take to the streets and be assured that by simply sharing his gift of music, he would be able to eat in return. If every shred of civilization was reduced to rubble and we all had only that which we had developed in ourselves or could carry with us, the ones with ‘the gift of song’ would carry a treasure more valuable than gold and silver.
That’s why today it hit me that a great hope of mine had been realized. All my kids have the gift of song. Not just the ability to play multiple instruments well, but the ability to allow themselves to be the instrument that sings. And I know for sure that they can and will always sing, because they have all made the personal connection with the source of hope and the creator of song; Jesus Christ. Because they know Him personally, not as an abstract thought that demands only an ascent of the mind; as a personal, dynamic human relationship to whom they have opened their hearts with trust. I know they will always sing no matter what the circumstances, through the ups and downs in life, until they meet Him face to face.
To have the gift of song is a form of the supernatural gift of hope. So as I have these songs that my children have written run through my mind (songs that I am very confident many many people will also one day have running through their minds) I am confident that long after I am gone, they will be just fine, because I know their songs will lead them to the one of whose beauty they sing. I know because their songs are leading me, encouraging me, and inspiring me to continue to sing, and therefore, to hope.