being blessed eavesdropper…

I’ve been reflecting a lot on biblical songs. The Psalms are an emotional journey of someone’s life experiences and we often forget that these experiences were real. They were a reflection of an experience that David and others went through. Some of them were decent laments on the injustice of the world. Others were songs inspired by God’s creation or God’s saving hand. As you journey through each Psalm, you become suddenly aware of the fact that you’re eavesdropping in on someone’s conversation with God. And personally, there’s a sudden realisation that it’s like I’m standing over David’s shoulder watching him as he writes. I can see his face lined with anguish and yet praise.

These past few weeks, I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to listen to the music of people’s hearts. A couple of friends (on different occasions) shared their music and it was just such a blessing to hear them. These are those moments where you peer into someone’s heart and catch a glimpse of that deep melodic conversation that exists between God and his son/daughter.

I had a great conversation with a friend today who asked me how my song writing was going. The other night I started writing a song and it got pretty emo, so I fell asleep. I was talking to this friend about my frustrations in song writing. I want to write something that reflects some great theological principle in the  most simplistic form. And he said, “sometimes it’s just about what’s in your heart… at least that’s probably what it was like for the Psalmist” (or something along those lines).

I can’t believe how true that is. I get worried that people will misinterpret what the music of my heart is trying to communicate but I wonder how often we’ve misunderstood what David and friends meant by what they said in their Psalms. I wonder if we ever really grasp the anguish, the despair, the hope, the ecstasy, and all the other emotions that were really truly experienced. I wonder if our readings of scripture ever really do capture the emotion, and the frenzy that was experienced. And I wonder if I’m right to care how people interpret the music of my heart. Maybe… maybe not.

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2 thoughts on “being blessed eavesdropper…

  1. Interestingly (well, to me anyway), Seal says in one of his album booklets that he never includes his lyrics on principle; he believes that people bring their own interpretations to the lyrics, and what they think they hear has more value than what he wrote the lyrics to be. Or something like that… You could equally argue that if the mondegreen hearer (look up mondegreen if you’re new to the word… it’s a funny story) read Seal’s intended lyrics then they’d be doubly blessed, but still.

    So all that to say: Yes, misunderstanding is dumb. Privacy is good. But maybe there’s potential for genius in misunderstanding, and potential for doom, or at least deprivation, in privacy?

    • I think Seal has a genuis point, and it was something I thought about last night actually. Sometimes we do derive such beautiful unintended meanings from the simplest (and sometimes complex) of songs. I like that Seal is open to that.

      Also love mondegreens. My personal favourites:
      “Hit me with your pet shark”
      “Australians all eat sausages
      Four minus one is three” (Aussie national anthem).

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