Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Power of a Song

Music has the ability to bring me to tears. A song that reminds me of a past event or happening can take me back to the exact time in my life when I first heard it. It's just the weirdest thing. Well, maybe not weird...but it's something I'm learning about myself.

Case in point...

We were having a nice Saturday morning this past weekend. The night before, we had spent the evening and slept over at my sister's new house, and we woke up and began getting ready for our big day! It was Chuck E. Cheese day for the kids, and they were so excited to see their friends Alli and Payton who were to meet us there. We loaded up in the van, all the kids were buckled, and we set out for the fun and games!

As we were driving down Battlefield, a song that I had not heard in probably 10 - 15 years came on the radio. I've been on a country music kick these days, and I haven't listened to that sort of thing in quite a while. But as the melody the lyrics were sung...tears began to well up in my eyes. I had to work hard at not bursting into full fledged crying. Josh looked over at me (having no idea what the significance the song had to me) and just put his hand on my leg to try and comfort me.

It was How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye by Patty Loveless.

The significance? This song was released in the spring of 1993 and played A LOT in the year following. My grandma was sick during that time, and passed away in May of 1994. I remember crying so much every time I would hear that song.

I did not expect such emotion when I heard it on Saturday, but when I think about it, it shouldn't surprise me. Music (and certain forms of music or certain lyrics) have always moved me in powerful ways.

The same is true when it comes to different worship styles.

(Allow me to bunny trail for a moment.)

When I was a teen, our youth group would attend "Super Summer" each June. It was a week-long, youth evangelism camp, filled with daily, Christ-centered teachings, amazing leaders, evening speakers that were just so spirit-filled, and the music during worship throughout the day and each night made me feel like I was face to face with the Lord. Contemporary worship has always moved me this way. Repeating a familiar lyric that allows me to close my eyes and focus on Him has always been more powerful TO ME than reciting five stanzas of a hymn. It can bring me to tears when I'm completely focused on Him and can close my eyes and not wonder what the next line is.

That's just me.

It really upsets me when someone tells me, "But it's not about's about praising the Lord. It shouldn't matter what kind of music it is."

I understand that. But why can I not have a preference? Why can I not state that I feel closer to God with certain songs? Would you tell an 80-year-old woman the same thing, that she just needed to jam out to Skillet because it shouldn't matter?


Music is powerful to me.

Certain songs are powerful to me.

I prefer a certain kind of worship.

And I'm confident that God loves me even if I'd rather sing God of the City than Old Rugged Cross...


Anonymous said...

I hear ya about the music. I am the exact same way.. music moves me like nothing else... a song can make me feel angry, sad, happy, romantic within seconds of hearing a certain rythym, beat or note......


Causey Fam said...

I agree. Music has played a huge part in how God speaks to me at different times in life. I can tell you what song was used and what was going on in life with each one. Some have been hymns, some praise songs and I love the song link you is one of my favs!

Andrea said...

I think all us girls have that inate ability to list a date, time, memory, smell, or something similar when we hear certain songs. Incidentally, that Patty Loveless song is one of the few that brings me to tears, too. My parents got divorced that year (verse 2). It's kinda neat, though. I didn't know you, and you didn't know me, and we were both being molded at the same time by a whangy (word?) country song :)

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