I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Music of Grief

I was brought to tears today during Church when My Love mentioned these verses:

"By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.
Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps."
Psalm 137:1-2

After losing my Momma in 2007, I remember all of the music going still.  I remember the silence.  I didn't ever want to sing again. I didn't want to ever play an instrument again.  I later realized that was okay.
Even now, all these years later...there is still silence.  Silence when I want her advice.  Silence when all of my family wishes she were here to encourage and support us.  Silence...because she is gone.  I started making music again a couple of years after that.  I began to sing again...but I sing differently now, I play differently now.  Oh friends, I've learned to sing and play and hum differently while navigating through this life that has handed more pain than I ever could have imagined .  Sometimes it is a loud and joyful song....sometimes it is heavy and sorrowful.

*I've swayed here in the sadness of my song. I've danced here in the dark dissonance of life. I've wailed in the midst of the ominous harmonies that lingered in the background.  All was worship, because all was genuine.*

I used to see music as healing.  I used to think it should immediately inspire.  And of course, some of it does.  But when I open up this old Bible of mine, it automatically falls open to these beautiful, haunting, sorrowful, very raw Psalms.  These pages full of people crying out to God, wondering when God will finally do something.  I never wanted to even try to understand the harder ones years ago...like Psalm 88.  But these pages, full of a very real people calling out to a very real and absent God...singing songs of their pain, of their longing, of their grief...they are now so dear to my heart. They have reminded me I'm not alone, and welcomed me into these spaces of despair...without trying to quiet my grief.

The Psalms make me feel safe to grieve.
May we always feel safe bringing our whole selves, sorrow, doubt, frustration, anger, and question upon question to this God who is so often absent.  God can handle all of us...

"Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
His understanding is infinite."
Psalm 147:5

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