John and I love them so much; they are 8 years old and two weeks from being a teenager of 14. Those two girls are hilarious and we have the funniest discussions on our way to and from church each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. But, they are like night and day when I pick them up. Sunday mornings, they are “night.” Often my knock at their door is their signal to wake up. They crawl into the car silent, rubbing the sleep out of their eyes. And, on Wednesday nights, they are “day.” Their greetings are boisterous and they both start talking at once about their day, what they had for lunch, their friends, and whatever else happens to pop into their heads.
So, I was surprised when I arrived at their house last evening. The girls weren’t home. Their mom came outside as I pulled up and explained that they had taken a walk around the neighborhood and were late getting back. She couldn’t understand what might have delayed them. Before long, Dad pulled up in his pick-up truck, arriving home from work. Mom quickly explained our problem and Dad took off, following the path that they often take. It wasn’t long before he was back and the girls were dashing out of Dad’s truck and jumping into our new-to-us Expedition.
It was then that I knew something was wrong. Little “Joy” (the 8-year-old) was in tears. She was using only one hand to close the door and grab the seatbelt, while holding the other hand high in the air. She was breathing hard and struggling with the seat belt. Mom came to the car window and “Joy”, between sobs, explained that she had hurt her hand but that she wanted to go to church. Mom made sure that everything was OK and we were on our way.
It took a little while for me to understand what had happened. Apparently, while walking around their neighborhood, they met a boy who wasn’t very nice. He pushed “Joy” down. She wasn’t upset about the boy or the shove, but her hand had fallen hard into a weed that had stickers. And, those doggone stickers hurt! A woman, working in her yard, came over and started pulling out stickers. And, then, if I got the story right, another woman came over to help. Eventually, a garden hose was pulled out and “Joy’s” hand was washed with cool water. That’s when Dad came on the scene and they hurried back to the house to leave for church.
As we drove, “Joy” was still sobbing and yet continued to insist that she wanted to go to be with the kids’ group at our church. I tried to distract her by talking about who she might see there when she perked up and asked, “Could you play that Christmas song?”
Last Sunday, I was blessed to spend some time at Children’s Church, going over a song that the kids will sing during the adult choir’s Christmas special service. The song isn’t a typical children’s song and the kids loved it. The girls and I had practiced it on our way home last Sunday.
I spun up the CD and found the right track. We sang the song and laughed when it was over.
Then, out of the back seat, came the best announcement I could have hoped for. “Joy” sang out, “That song made my hand happy!!” I asked her what that meant and she replied, “My hand doesn’t care about the stickers anymore!”
My Friend, we must never, ever, ever underestimate the power of music!!
- Music can lead us to change our attitudes, to forget our hurts, to put aside our problems.
- It is true that, as William Congreve noted, “music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” (Nope, that isn’t a line from Shakespeare.)
- And, the Psalmist’s advice was right: “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.” (Psalm 135:3) I can attest to the fact that praising God through music is much, much more than just pleasant! The best music helps me look to God and I forget the world around me.
So, as the election rhetoric gets more heated; as it seems that the end of the work week will never come; as you begin stressing over the game or the holidays or the project; and, as your to do list grows to four pages long – try music!! It might just make that hurting hand happy.
p.s. Can’t find music that meets your desires and can’t afford a subscription service? Try downloading the “Tunein Radio” app. You will find all sorts of listening options. (And, when we are out-of-town, it lets us enjoy play-by-play broadcasts of our favorite minor league baseball team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Find your favorite team and listen to those games you cannot see in person.)
p.s.s. Having problems believing how music can impact our lives? Read this article from Medical News Today. It makes some interesting points! “The Power of Music: how it can benefit health.”