David Casper asked this question a few weeks ago in his post: Why does music hold such power over the human heart?
In middle and high school, my sanctuary was the choir room. Forget sports (although I did play soccer in high school) and the library, I’d much rather spend before school, after school and even during my lunch hanging out with my choir friends.
Now I’m sure I probably prepared, memorized and sang more than hundred songs combined through out middle and high school. There were the choir show pieces, the talent show medleys, and the meticulously prepared complex pieces for contest season. Yet, out of those hundreds of songs, there are a few that I simply cannot let go, for they have inexplicably wrapped their melodies into my life.
One such piece is “The Conversion of Saul” by Z. Randall Stroope.
It’s more than just a piece of choral music with notes, rests and dynamics, to sing and listen to it is to feel and experience Saul’s very experience with Christ while on the road to Damascus.
Amidst the fury of the chanting of “Caedite, vexate, ligate vinculis!” (Murder, harass, bind into chains!), comes this pure and steady light and voice of Christ as Saul’s asked the very question that changes his life, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
The first time I sang this piece in a choir of more than 50 people, we got about halfway through it and stopped. The chord rang out through the auditorium and we stood there, unable to continue, speak or move. There was just an inexplicable moment of beauty that we could only respond with silence.
Now, choral music isn’t the only place to experience God’s beauty. We have divinely inspired artwork, writings, novels, poetry, architecture and more. There simply is not one way to glorify God with our talents.
I realize that not everyone has a deep appreciation for choral works, but give it a listen. You may just find that you’ve experienced yet another interpretation of God’s love and creation another way – through music.