Our author says that songs hurt when sung to a heavy heart. I have a feeling it depends on which kind of songs are sung. Songs actually lift my heart.
Music is such a part of who I am that I cannot conceive of them being hurtful. I KNOW taking off a garment on a cold day hurts. And vinegar on soda is the essence of the childhood volcano. Neither of these are the kind of reaction I would want to invoke on someone who is hurting.
But then I started thinking about this a little deeper. When you take off a garment on a cold day you become colder but you are also more alert. Your body starts searching for heat and making as much of its own as possible. If you stay in the cold long enough you begin to shiver. You cannot ignore the cold anymore. You HAVE to deal with it. When you are warm and toasty you can ignore the cold and give little thought to it.
When vinegar is poured onto soda there is a chemical reaction. Neither alone can produce this reaction. It takes the combination of the two. And if enough vinegar is added the soda will completely dissipate in the reaction. If the soda represents the ‘hurt’, the vinegar is doing a good thing by getting it out. It isn’t gentle but it is quite effective.
In my own life, my lowest points have been times when I turned away from music; especially music made in praising the Lord. Only when I turned back did I find my pain begin to decrease. It wasn’t overnight but it did go. Even now, when my heart begins to get heavy, it only takes a song sung to my Lord to lift it again. I have friends who have gone through HARD times and I am drawn to songs of healing for them. I don’t always get to personally sing them but I send them YouTube videos of those songs. I have as of yet to find anyone who wasn’t lifted, comforted or consoled by those songs. NO ONE has said, “That was rude of you” or “How dare you!”
Could our author be saying the opposite of what it appears? IS he saying that singing to a heavy heart is good? I would completely agree with that!
But what if the songs being sung do not fit the hurt being experienced. There are songs that provoke a negative reaction in me. Songs I NEVER want to hear again. One such song is a beautiful song, but the experiences associated with it bring nothing but pain. The song I’m thinking about is Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis. How can such a beautiful love song make me sad? Because the one I thought would love me forever and ever chose it as OUR song, and then he left me broken and devastated. This was the song my ex-husband used to profess his love to me with. When that love was torn away the song became painful instead. It still hurts just thinking about it.
My husband LOVES to listen to music on the computer. There are few things he can do physically and this is one of them. He has MANY songs that he plays repeatedly, most of which are love songs. He is an incurable romantic. One day, after I set him up at his computer, I was in my sewing room listening as I was working. Out of nowhere the thought popped into my head, “How will I feel if he plays ‘that song’?” It wasn’t more than a few songs later that I heard the very song playing in the other room. There was NO WAY I was going to come running out and demand he stop playing that song but neither could I ignore the pain it evoked in me.
What I did do was wait until the song was over, while distracting myself with my project, then join him in the other room to talk about the song. After discussing the feelings associated with this song, I felt better and he understood my pain. My husband’s memory is extremely short because of his medical issues so I cannot be certain this song will never be played again, but it seems to have passed from his memory and has NOT made his favorites play list. Also, after being able to work through the hurt triggered by this song, I feel I can do it again if necessary.
As long as my heart feels pulled to share specific songs with people I know who are hurting, I’ll do it. I feel it is the Holy Spirit’s work in me. It is what He has placed in me as a gift to others. And I will ONLY share the songs He lays on my heart. The songs that speak healing, comfort, and a way through the hardest places.
Father God, THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC! I am empty without it. It is how You speak to my heart. Keep me sensitive to the pain of others and don’t EVER let me make it worse. I want to be Your hands and feet bring comfort to others.
Help me Father to break the painful associations with ‘that’ song. Thank You for all the good associations I have with so many other songs. Thank You for the two songs I feel speak of my life the most. They don’t apply for every situation I come across but they are my foundational songs; The Anchor Holds by Ray Boltz and The Warrior is a Child by Twila Paris