I Hear In These Sounds
Yeah, I took a break from blogging due to writing heavily on my thesis and the onset of sinus-induced dizzy spells. Sorry. I read something powerful from Eugene Peterson this morning, which touched a part of me that if you've read this blog for any amount of time you realize that I tend to make strong emotional and spiritual connections with music. I don't know if this is because I grew up in a house where I'd steal off to the basement and listen to my dad's Electric Light Orchestra, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac or Cat Stevens albums - that's right, VINYL - but I have always had a spot in my heart that begins to warm and pulsate when a song finds it's mark.
Then I read this from Eugene Peterson:
"Song does not explain, it expresses; it gives witness to the trans-literal. song is more than words and there are no words to convey what that 'more' is precisely. Song is one of the two ways (silence is the other) of giving witness to the transcendent." (Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, 176).
Peterson makes this statement in the context of talking about Moses' song after the Hebrews cross through the Red Sea (Ex. 15:1ff). Salvation, at that point, could no longer be explained by words or theories or even theological treatises.
At some point, there is only art and rhyme and melody that can accurately reveal and give detail to what we experience in this good and beautiful life in Christ. I find this in so many different places, so many different songs, and times when my own Biblical interpretation and theology fail usually lead to cries of lament, songs of sorrow and questioning, that erupt through the prayers of people who have simply had enough of trying to think God straight for themselves and are now faced with the bare, raw, transcendent reality of a God-made-flesh that dwelled among us so as to give us that which we did not and do not deserve.
Redemption. Salvation. Resurrection.
There's a song in that.
One such song is this tune from Mumford & Sons. If you have never heard them, their most recent album "Sigh No More" is wonderfully written and poetic, though I will warn you the lyrics to "Little Lion Man" will be offensive to some of you. Please tread lightly.
Here is one of their tunes that speaks of transcendence in words that are unbelievable. In some ways this is my prayer for today:
Awake My Soul.