Music & Resurrection
I don't remember much about my childhood, but I do remember the day in the third grade when they paraded us all into the gymnasium-cafeteria-auditorium where the middle school kids demonstrated all the instruments for us. My mom - the gym teacher - was there, and before we could even file out of the room after the assembly was over I had declared to her that I wanted to play the flute.
In the coming weeks, she tried to negotiate with me. There wasn't much musical talent in our family, and I don't think she knew what she was getting into with this instrument adventure. Once it became clear that I wasn't backing down, she tried to persuade me out of the flute and into something that less kids played. But I was insistent. So she rented me a flute.
I'll summarize the first two years of my flute career this way - I was so bad that they made me play the woodblock in our concerts.
I don't think I need to say any more.
* * *
These days, on the weekends when I feel decent, I go to a lot of church. While I go to see the people and I go to hear the Word and I go to receive prayer, I know that the main reason I go is for the music.
Last night I used the lure of french fries to get my church buddy to join me at the Saturday evening service I love. Its a place I adore for many reasons, but above all I love the musicians there. When they sing they do nothing short of channeling the Holy Spirit, and I needed a bit of the Holy Spirit last night.
But what I didn't realize I needed more were these words from Pastor Rob:
God is in the business of resurrecting again.
The thing about this space I'm in is that its growing my faith. Even in the midst of the anger and the questions and the pleading, God and I are closer than ever. He is right here with me, walking this road, never letting me be alone. He is giving me glimpses of how He will use all of this for His glory and I am amazed. Consistently amazed.
As this is happening, the enemy has moved from the corner of the room to the cushion next to me. As God and I move closer, so does he, screaming ever more loudly in my ear of the destruction and the rubble that lie in the wake of my diagnosis. He points out the loss and the sadness and the grief. He yells ever louder until I hear him.
But he has not yet drowned out the small, quiet voice of God.
And the enemy hates that. So he yells louder.
* * *
Something happened between fifth and sixth grade, and when the middle school band director tested us at the beginning of the year, I was placed in the third chair. Its not like I had spent the summer practicing - I have to chalk that one up to God knowing I needed something to cling to in my broken little life and He decided music would be it. I found out years later that the band director called my mother the day we tested and told her that I had something special and that she should do everything she could to foster that. Then he gave her the number of the man I would study with for the next seven years.
Just like that, music rooms became the one place I felt I belonged. They were the places where I excelled at something. The places where I had a purpose. The places where I could get lost from the mean kids, the alcoholism, the incessant feeling that I didn't belong. Where it didn't matter that I was painfully shy, or dressed all wrong, or totally socially awkward. Throughout high school and college, music was my safe haven. The place to run when I had nowhere else to go.
* * *
I was back at church bright and early this morning, hoping the music would keep the enemy at bay today. I was skeptical. He's been so loud this week.
And then the music began.
By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
Resurrection again. That's the lesson I needed to be reminded of so desperately this weekend. That lying in the mess the enemy continues to rage on about are the beautiful promises of the Lord. He will resurrect me in due time, resurrect my life, and from the ashes will rise something far beyond my wildest expectations.
Beauty from the ashes. Resurrection.
* * *
I came home today and pulled a guitar off the wall. It was gifted to me by a friend just before my surgery, but I haven't been able to bring myself to play since I came home. But God's been asking me to play and asking me to sing and I think its time to stop ignoring Him.
So the guitar came down, and I played a few chords, and I remembered why music has always been my cornerstone.
God used music to resurrect my life once before. Its time to let Him do the same again.