How are we supposed to find peace when the world has turned upside-down?
It seems that these days, no one has the answer to that question. At the time of writing this article, our country – and our entire world – is facing the threat of a global pandemic. Countless people are suffering, and no one can give us answers about how long this suffering will last. Instead of being able to come together and support one another, we have to remain apart. We are forced into isolation – something that we have been told our whole lives is a bad thing. We have the internet, sure, but video chats and text messages are a poor substitute for the quality time that we are all craving with our family and friends.
As we wait with bated breath to see what will happen next, where can we turn to for support and comfort?
Usually in an article like this, I would talk about how singing in a choir is an excellent way to de-stress. I would say that surrounding yourself with encouraging people and making music is a fantastic way to bring joy into your life when you feel that it may be lacking.
All of these things are still true. I just can’t say them right now. The CDC would not be very happy.
However, even though everything is on hold for the foreseeable future, the beauty of music lives on. In fact, one of the most important aspects of music is its ability to impact individuals in unique and individual ways. The feelings that I experience when I hear Clair de Lune are completely different than the ones you experience. That is the nature of music.
Throughout this time, one hymn, in particular, has really been running through my mind. It is Well with My Soul. This song is a reminder to us that even when things seem dark and we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, there can be peace. The text of this song was written by Horation E. Spafford shortly after his wife and daughters died tragically at sea. He eventually returned to the spot that they lost their lives and bowed his head in prayer when the words came to him, “…Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul’…”. This song reminds me that through faith, we can face anything.
Even as we struggle to adapt to this new way of living, some things never change. Our faith remains the same. The nature of music never changes. And even if these two things were all we had during this time, we would be alright. This chaotic time will be over soon. When it finally is and we can return to the lives we left behind, you can be sure that choirs will sound more beautiful than they ever have before. People will love more deeply. A hug from a friend will be so much more meaningful. And together, we will work to build a brighter future – full of music, and full of light.