And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
I wonder sometimes what I am missing by not hearing music.
I don’t remember, really, what bells sound like, or tinkling chimes.
What does it mean that a song is rich? Or layered and complex?
Why do people get in their cars and immediately reach for the power button on the CD player? My vintage 1976 Mercedes doesn’t even have a CD player.
And yet I see my son and how he loves his music. How he fits certain kinds to match his moods— loud and driving and strong for courage of conviction, soft and low for worship, crazy drum solos and crashing cymbals for joyful thanksgiving.
It all sounds terrible to me. When I’m “plugged in” (Comer-speak for when I have my cochlear attached to my head) it sounds just like the garbage disposal eating egg shells and ice. When I’m “unplugged” I hear nothing.
And this morning as I read about the building of the Temple by Solomon, I am struck by words about music. Bells on priest’s robes, musicians gathering to form choirs, and this:
All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the Lord. Their responsibilities included the playing of cymbals, harps, and lyres at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman reported directly to the king. They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord, and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student.
(1 Chronicles 25:6-8)
A family of music makers. Can you imagine the fun they had? The noise their neighbors put up with? And do you notice they all got to play? From the very beginner to the very best, this family made music together for the Lord.
And I wonder again what I am missing.
Would my worship be sweeter if I could sing along with my iPod? If I didn’t cringe at the metallic clash of cymbals through my cochlear, would I smile and sing and shake my head like my son? Dance a jig in the hallway like he does when he thinks no one is watching?
Am I missing out on joy?
I try not to think about things like that— to accept my life now and be grateful for all I have. The fact that I can talk to my children and hear what they have to say is nothing short of a miracle that would have been impossible just 20 years ago.
I know that and I am thankful. Every morning when I put that thing on my head and reconnect with the sounds of living, I thank God that I can hear, that I am not isolated and alone.
But still I wonder.
And someday I’ll know.
On that day I step from this world into the Presence, I’ll hear the music. And you will too, but I’ll hear it in a way I think most people won’t. I’ll hear perfect music with perfect ears that have been deprived of something God made.
And I’ll be great friends with that tribe of people who couldn’t see here on earth- the blind ones drinking in every sight, marveling, touching, exclaiming at the beauty. And the ones lame leaping and dancing and doing somersaults— those who were confined by crippled bodies for too long.
I’ll be the deaf girl singing. At the top of my voice— no more pretending I hear more than a note or two. I’ll pick up the microphone and belt it out for all to hear— for me to hear.
And you? What is it you’ll go after when God brings you into His arms and says, “Welcome home?”
My dad, whose failing lungs hold him back now, will probably head for a hike high in the newly restored Sierras. Matt will eat whatever he wants, unhindered by a diabetic’s restrictions on carbs or insulin. My friend Becky will get up from her bed and lead us all in line-dancing.
I am missing something by not hearing music. I am supposed to hear music. And I think its good for me to just spend a moment or two grieving over the loss from time to time.
Not to wallow, just to wonder what I have waiting for me.
And isn’t that wondering part of the waiting? Part of why we wait on tippy toes? Longing for the Day. The Someday.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
From my heart,