“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.”-Psalms 42:7-8
Music is as soothing as it is spiritual. A universal voice that transcends age, race, and time.
There is something about the sound of the crashing throes of a waterfall cascading over rocks that reveal to us the voice of God. While we are subject to our human condition, we can but for a brief moment experience what the Almighty has in store for us on that glorious day when we meet Him in heaven above.
The essence of our soul is moved and caressed by the soothing noise, and if we hesitate long enough, we can allow the Spirit to touch us within, the “Deep calls unto deep.” Like waves crashing against the rocks at the seashore, void of growth or obstructions, we too can be cleansed of our stresses and toils. “All your waves and billows have gone over me.” Waterfalls are the epitome of the multitude of angelic choirs where the combined sound of their magnificent congregation unite as one, their harmonies becoming a single voice, the voice of God. The depths of the bass so deep, it resonates our very being, the ringing of the highest soprano reaching beyond our ability to comprehend in this earthly domain, and every harmony between spread across a spectrum so vast it cannot be seen from shore to shore. There is so much beyond our comprehension we cannot begin to fathom its complexity, so melodies become a door, the opening through which God can speak.
Music is the voice of God.
Martin Luther, in addition to being one of the founding fathers of the Reformation, was also very musically gifted. He was known as the “Nightingale of Wittenberg.” Hymns were so essential to his ministry that he said this about music with regard to our soul and being something to lift us up rather than to bring us down, “In the midst of life we are in death’ shall become ‘In the midst of death we are in life.” Luther felt that music could even allow God to break through even the most hardened heart.
Once in a while, we are given the gift of music, should we choose to accept it. Some do and with it, change not only their own lives but those around them. It is no wonder that those who possess this ability also find other gifts and talents. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”-Matt 28:29
The soul of a man, born upon the wings of wood, wire, and song, became more than just that which carried them through the darkest of times. Long before and after Luther, many found comfort in the tunes that were passed down from one generation to the next. The spirit through which they endured hardships was buoyed by the sound of voices drifting up in the smoke over campfires and fireplaces in the hidden hollers of this land. Their story kept alive through those tales put to ballad became the very essence of what created the name of this town that I am now visiting; Nashville.
From within the Museum of Country Music, display after display, memories, and tokens of lives lived in front of audiences that only wanted to hear the strains of that ancient spirit keep their own flames of past thoughts alive spoke to us from the past. Words that touched the heart enough to pull us up from the sorrows and pains of everyday life; these are the ones that stood apart from the rest. These strains became the classics that stood the test of time when again and again, mankind’s own greed tried to circumvent what was pure and true. Even today, this battle between good and evil persists; humanity will never learn.
As we made our way through the streets of the big city, we happened upon the essence of the dark side; that which was never meant to be. The evolution of commercialization of sound has created a breeding ground for all manner of inequities. Like the children of Israel that had gone astray, the sin and idol worship of what was meant to be sacred has now turned into the Sodom and Gamora of its day; Honky Tonk Row. The overpowering secular nature of humanity is on display as men and women parade around in drunken debauchery seeking that which cannot fulfill. Their carnal nature on exhibition, nothing hidden as the voices inside these dens of inequity attempt to reach an audience that is only there to take, not to give. The few who survive this world of utter decadence may someday surface to fame and glory, only to find that which they gave up, their very soul, is now lost. Few, yes very few survive unscathed, all are touched by their journey. Walking away as fast as we could, we all felt as if we wanted to shower away this image from our minds.
This was not the world of music we had known. Ours was a more pristine image of a simpler time now seemingly gone. Like those grainy films of Balcomb Lunsford, we wanted to live in the past. This harsh, dog-eat-dog reality was something my children had never seen in person. Yes, this was more of a wake-up call than we had planned. Part of our perception of the world of music died there on those streets; innocence had passed.
But the soul of the music never dies.
Deep calls unto deep inside, where only the Spirit of the Lord can reach, our flame continues to burn. The world outside cannot diminish the blessings within.
Somewhere, far, far away, hidden away below the protection of a mountainside, perhaps near a remote hidden waterfall, a lone fiddler sits playing the strains of ancient songs, simply and purely for the satisfaction of a terrestrial audience of none. The sweet refrains of the instrument unite with those of the heavenly discord and together they rise into the air as one.
God’s moment of glory, for an audience of the heavenly multitude.
Thanks be to God.