I had the treat of going out with my best friend to see Linda Eder perform with the Houston Symphony for Christmas. She’s got an amazing voice and sang a song that just moved me incredibly and led me to an idea for a post. Plus it got me to thinking about how so much of what I write is inspired by song. Whether a concert, on Sunday morning at church, or on the radio, music is one of the most effective ways God communicates with me. I see things from a new perspective. I hear things with fresh ears.
So I thought I’d write a short 3 episode miniseries on music and my life. This entry will be about how music inspires me, tomorrow I’m writing about a specific example of how music affects my actions, and Saturday’s will be on music in the Bible. I hope you stay with me for all three, especially if you’re anything like me and LOVE music.
I can’t remember a time when music wasn’t in my life. Before my father was a pastor, he was a music minister at churches. Both my grandparents and my mother sang and played the piano. I can remember going to my grandparents at the holidays and all sitting around the piano while Mimi pulled out the hymn book and played, and my grandfather’s and father’s booming voices led us all in Christmas carols. I still remember singing to my Mimi at the end stages of Alzheimer’s, when she was completely ravaged, but still loved music. And now, I get to sing to my children, from the car to the nursery, they beg for songs. They dance, and clap and try to help sing along. Oh I hope they love music like I do. I used to be a DJ when I was a tween, and I remember sitting in that padded room blaring out my favorite contemporary Christian music on my dad’s new radio station. I’d also memorized Grease and could sing every syllable with my cousin, Sarah. In high school, I would go every year to the ballet with Mimi, and I remember how moving the symphonic sounds were when set in motion with dance. In college, I was introduced to country music and found a whole genre I’d missed. In law school, I was introduced to, and fell in love with, jazz and blues, now still possibly my favorite genre.
Today, still, I hear old and new songs and see or feel something fresh. Michael Buble’s new Christmas CD totally puts me in the holiday spirit. Singing Dwell in the Midst of Us makes me desire God’s presence in the middle of everything I’m doing. Hearing Davis and Coltrane play Kind of Blue makes me feel cool in a way that I know I’m not. Dave Matthews makes me want to make out with Bray. Tom Petty belting out Free Fallin’ requires that I sing at the top of my lungs while speeding. And singing my I Love You lullaby to the children in my rocking chair makes my heart burst with love.
Music inspires me. To write. To think. To see. To feel. It’s like no other drug in the world. Music can make me laugh or cry or kiss or run. Music changes how I feel and act in any given moment. It’s a miracle.