"Sing to the Lord a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts."-Psalms 33.3
"But you should sever be embarrassed by your trouble with living; ‘cause it's always those with the sorest throats who have done the most singing."-"Laura Laurent" by Bright Eyes
I love live music but rarely get to see multiple shows in one weekend. But this past weekend, I was able to see the Avett Brothers (a punk-infused bluegrass band) outdoors at Crossroads and then the next night, a very private engagement (it was my group of 4 people and the other bands playing that night) with Corey Chisel (think Jackson Browne with a bit of Jakob and Bob Dylan, in a more gothic than country tone). It was a weekend that reminded me how great music and other fine arts are.
Whether to be engaging those parts of the Divine Spark within us by creating music or visual art or architecture; or if it is in losing ourselves in the very joy of appreciating and marveling and the beauty and emotion of that divinity we see in others-either way, it freakin' rocks!
The psalms talk a lot about making a joyful noise and about singing new songs and shouting. I think we could do good with a bit of literalism in our understanding of these things. How often have you been in church and heard people obviously bored (to the point of distain) by singing a tired hymn? Or, even, how often have you gone about your day without noticing a beautiful building that someone poured their hearts into or a painting that captures light in just an un-earthly way or heard a song that somehow the singer or songwriter seems to have gained an uncanny access to your emotion?
I long for a world where we all take a moment every day just to lose ourselves in the beauty, joy and pain that art can display and to thank God for giving us that ability and desire to join in the creative process that we can do and love to do. Often we suppress that within ourselves, saying that our art isn't as "good" as someone else's or that we are afraid of how dumb we could if we really let go and sang our heart out along with our band or made up a dance that no one else would be able to follow. I say, God wants us to let go, to just get creative, to be those wacky, creative, vocal and expressive creatures that we were created to be!
My benediction for you this week is that you may resonate so deeply with some art that you feel the need to respond with singing, dancing, drawing, writing or some other creative pursuit that you do simply because you feel so moved by the Spirit within you. Here's to people with sore throats, calloused fingers and tired feet!!