If you have been reading Sound Theology for a while, you may recall a post where I encouraged you to join a choir. Well, this fall I took my own advice, and joined the Concert Choir at the College where I work. One of the songs we are learning has a line that has been stuck in my head: “But music and singing will be my refuge. Music and singing will be my light …”
Yes! This has certainly been my experience. Music is a creative outlet, a source of joy, and a place of refreshment. I also know stories of others whose musical experiences have literally saved their lives.
As these words, and the beautiful melody that accompanies them, have swirled through my head and heart over the past few weeks, it has reminded me of the power of metaphors. The metaphors of music-as-refuge and singing-as-light are not just lovely imagery. One reason that metaphors are powerful parts of communication is because they reveal truth in unconventional ways. The combination of unrelated, incongruent images into new forms, reveals paradox. Metaphors can both magnify mystery and bring unexpected clarity.
So when the choir sings of music as a refuge, that singing connects us to the music which begins in, and is sustained by, the Trinity. Music is a refuge because singing draws us into—connects us to—something much more than can be seen on the surface. Music is light because it cuts through darkness, illuminating and bringing clarity. Singing is healing and nourishing: it is lifegiving. Music is a refuge and light because by it, we join an eternal song, a song of protection, a song of love.