Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Inner Need

"Here, I have one faculty enlightened and another left in darkness -
my understanding is sometimes sharp, my will, at the same moment, perverted.
There, I shall be all light, no shadow,
my soul invested in the light of true Joy,
and my body, in the light of glory".
John Donne.

How often in life the deepest treasures emerge from pain or darkness.

I was reading a novel which made reference to an astonishing fact. In recent times, it has been discovered that babies which have been born prematurely can be encouraged to begin to suckle - so they can feed - by listening to the melody of music. Apparently, it has been discovered that the human brain is more 'hot wired' to appreciate such sounds than even to engage something as essential as using our mouths to keep us alive: the necessity to enjoy beauty runs that deep.

John Donne was once a womanizer and writer of some of the most sexual verse of his age, but everything changed for him on the day he fell in love with a young woman so bright and sharp that she reminded him of sunlight. His life would become a record of trial and despair, and yet, as the great plague demolished London, he himself survived a fever to become a beacon concerning the realities of death and the weight of glory found in the sure promises of God.
Amidst a people crying in pain, he was able to express in sermon and verse a truth that richly fed the deepest need.

In an age most certainly poxed with all manner of 'certainties' which offer no actual satisfaction of our deepest need - to identify where we come from and where life leads - the music that can allow us to be nurtured by grace is certainly what we need to hear.

1 comment:

Steve said...

What a great story and revelation of truth.

There is a story of the aftermath of an Indian/settler war in the early days of America.
Young Indian (native American) warriors are captured and the mothers of babies long ago captured by the Indian tribes are brought out to see if they can somehow recognize their sons who cannot speak English, and know not their real parents.

The settlers can obviously tell the light skinned braves from the rest.

A woman hums the same lullaby that she had hummed when her son was an infant and tears begin to flow from the eyes of one young brave.

That is how it is when the pure sweet sound of the gospel reaches the ears and hearts of God's own children, long ago stollen away by sin.