"Music is the companion of joy, balm for sorrow."
These words are a translation of the Latin text that Johannes Vermeer included in his painting, "The Music Lesson." I have certainly found music to play those dual roles, and I've been reminding myself to sing more this week to comfort my weary soul.
After we had finished singing "Jesus Loves Me," my two-and-a-half year old barked out:
Though my husband and I both disdain country music as a rule, we recently discovered the soundtrack for the movie Crazy Heart. These particular songs won us over, and I have had them running through my head since the first listen. And then came another song, streaming from the radio in the kitchen yesterday--"Undo," by Rush of Fools. It was the perfect answer to "Somebody Else," the lyrics of which mirror my thoughts lately, but lack the hope of redemption that undergirds "Undo."
"No, Bible tells me so, not you."
Definitely cheeky in tone, his point was also instructive. My assessments of how well I am doing should not affect my thoughts and motivation as much as they do. Instead, the truth of what the Bible tells me should be my guide.
As I look for renewal and seek transformation, I've been confronted with my performance-based notions of self worth. Basing my life instead on God's amazing grace would be far more fruitful. When I fall short of the standards for success that I or others set, I should listen less to the voice that condemns, and more to the words of God. He never offers reproof without hope.
In the midst of all this inner turmoil, Rachel's bookshelf challenge this week forced me to take a long look at our shelves. They are slovenly by anyone's account. It's tempting just to resign myself to their condition and continue trying to ignore them, but maybe I won't. I think they reflect something of the state of my heart as well.
The first bookcase is the best of the lot. It goes downhill after that. Also, anything you see that has remained orderly is my husband's doing.
Living room shelves
(I should hang those wedding portraits too, while I'm at it.)
Will I be able to tackle them all this weekend? I hope so. Turning on some upbeat music should help me while I'm at it. I would like to post the "after" pictures next week. Yet whether I succeed or fail in this project, I'll strive to think on (and sing about) God's changeless love.
So what songs have been a companion or balm for you this week?