I was born with approximately 40% hearing in my left ear. I’m also a musician, so this has presented some challenges from time to time, as you might imagine. This deficit has also allowed me to sit in more than my share of doctor and audiologist offices and observe the big chart-sized diagram of the ear. For many reasons, these circumstances have caused me to think about the wonder of how sound is created and the impact of that sound has on our lives.
The creation of sound has varying sources – a shout, a plucked violin string, a handclap, vocal chords…and the list goes on. Once that sound has been created, it travels through the air – which we cannot humanly see. That’s an amazing thought all on its own! As it travels through the air, it enters our ear. This is where the ear chart becomes very visual for me. The ear is made up of an outside shell that focuses the sound, a myriad of hairs and tubes, and any number of parts that have multi-syllable names! Once the sound has traveled through these passages, there are nerves that wonderfully interpret those sounds as messages to the brain, which in turn causes us to respond in certain ways. The wonder of sound! And when this sound is music, is has yet another set of potential affections connected with it.
As a result of this wonder of the gift of music and sound, many studies and sciences have dug deeply into how this power works. There are sciences such as psycho-acoustics and biomusicology that track how music impacts the environment in which we live and grow. There are academic study tracks that train people how to use the wonder and power of music to help people with life’s struggles, such as music therapy. There are numerous studies showing how music can impact everything from SAT scores, to shopping longer, to how many eggs a chicken will lay! Naturally, there are negative forces that also know this wonder and power of music and use it to manipulate factors such as inciting mass protests and sending messages to our minds that are not wholesome.
For those who have Christian faith, the word of God has its own power…the power of Divine truth. We have a belief system that God is Who He said He is - a God Who in His wisdom sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to provide and offer salvation to all who would accept His gift of grace. He sent His Holy Spirit to live in us to guide, correct, and comfort us through life. What has amazed me over and over again is that when we combine the power of the truth of God’s word with the wonder and power of music, then we have one of the absolutely most powerful things in our grasp that can possibly be held – if we dare try to hold it! Even in my life of hearing deficit, I have over and over been personally impacted by the power of God’s word delivered by music to my heart and mind. I have witnessed over and over the impact of this power in the lives of others…it has changed lives for God’s glory – eternally!
So, when Deo Cantamus joins their voices and instruments to create sounds that travel through the invisible air and enter the marvelously created ear of people, they do not only sing and play because it is enjoyable, or merely to express their talents. They are fusing the power of God’s word with the wonder and power of God’s gift of music. And that power not only changes their lives, but those of us who listen as well.
Let us never take lightly this power…may we always use it well…may we stop often and thank God for the gift He has entrusted to us.