Friday, October 4, 2013

Melodies and Reminders

There's a country song that has this line in it: "It's funny how a melody sounds like a memory..."

Isn't that the truth?

Don't you hear "The Time of My Life" and remember Johnny and Baby dancing with her in a pale pink dress, or "My Heart Will Go On" and imagine Jack putting Rose up on the plank while he is slowly freezing to death, or the first two notes of the theme song from Jaws, and recall teeth, and screaming, and bloody limbs, and an unrealistic looking, demon-possessed shark?

You know you do.

Something about music always triggers memories.

Whenever I hear "Shout to the Lord" I smile, thinking about it playing during my wedding. (yes, that's an old song now, but 14 years ago it was pretty awesome to walk down the aisle to, so stop judging)

All bluegrass music transports me back to my early childhood, and I have vague, treasured memories of my late grandfather playing and singing.

I read Mother Goose poems to my kids these days, and when I start singing them in the same tune my mom used to sing them to me in, (which she made up, because it had to get boring reading the same poems over and over...or maybe just because she's the greatest...) I suddenly feel like a girl again, sitting in our freezing cold living room, wrapped in afghans, listening to her voice.

Every country song about bare feet, and worn out jeans, and sweet tea, and fried chicken, makes me remember our old house at the Pisgah Crossroads; the red roof, the front porch, the big oak tree, the tiny bathroom, the idyllic childhood.

Every old school Carmen song makes me want to get up and dance. (now I know you're judging me, and I don't care. "Addicted to Jesus" is still a legitimately fantastic song. Deal with it.)

When I listen to the cd of my Uncle Tom singing, I have about 750 life flashbacks, all of them wonderful, of family sing-alongs.

And there are songs that give me heartache flashbacks too. The songs we sang at Joy's funeral, the ones sung in her honor since then, and the ones I listened to over and over when I was just trying to find something to cling to in my sadness.

There's a verse in Psalms (I can't remember the reference, and I'm too lazy to get up and go search for it in my Bible, so you'll just have to take my word for it) that says "Songs of praise and victory are sung in the camp of the Godly."

Hmm.

I wonder if they sang the songs even when they weren't feeling victorious or in a praising mood. I mean, it doesn't say they only sang them when they were feeling it. It says they sang songs of praise and victory in their camp.

Probably because the melody sounded like a memory of victory. Possibly because a song of praise reminded them of times where they FELT like praising, even if they weren't feeling it right then.

Last night, members of our church gathered together in our partially renovated building, ducking under hanging light fixtures and stepping around piles of insulation and construction materials, and we prayed, and we sang. We haven't seen the victory yet, but we still sang about the goodness of our God.

And those songs will be attached to those memories now, pictures in my mind and heart of people who are hurting, but still chose to praise; people who are sick, and still smiled and danced; people who are feeling hopeless, but still lifted their voices to magnify the Lord; people who are TIRED, but still gave their energy to songs of victory.

Today I am going to pull out the melodies that bring back the memories of praise, and hope, and love, and peace, and I am going to play those melodies over and over, and I am going to remember...

And my camp, the Martin camp, will be filled with the songs of praise and victory.

What melodies sound like the memories of victory in your life? Sing them today. And be reminded.

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