Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another undershepherd moment and genuine grief...

There are many things I have lost, cognitively, that are very, very hard for me to bear. A week ago, Sunshine tried to put things in perspective for me regarding why others are oft dismissive when I have tried to talk about it. Oh, but Myrtle, you’re still so smart!  I could easily punch the next person who says that. She said that I was up in the clouds and while I am no longer there, I am still on the mountain tops of the folks around me. Something like that, though without the metaphor. Reduced significantly but not noticeably for those who’ve never been in the clouds.

My pastor came and brought me the Lord's Supper last Sunday.  A blessed day all around!  We talked at length about several of the hard things of late and my leap off the cliff in moving to Fort Wayne.  He always says that he does not know what to say, but he does, because the Holy Spirit does and that is how Christ tends to His sheep, through His undershepherds.

How do I know my pastor is an undershepherd?  He mentioned an album for me to buy to listen to as I lie down to sleep and when I awake from night terrors.  Now, he really doesn't know me.  He knows absolutely nothing of my musical tastes, save for knowing that Lord Jesus Think on Me is a hymn I would dearly love have sung over me as much as possible.  I am fairly certain he does not know of my love of Fernando Ortega, my enjoyment of a few Chris Rice songs, and my adoration for all things Sugarland.  He knows nothing about what types of music sing to my heart, soothing and moving me when it falls upon my ears. 

The Holy Spirit does.

The album he advised me to purchase is Lighten Our Darkness, an a capella compilation that is so beautiful my heart aches.  Oh, how I miss singing.  I miss the pure music made by just voices blending oh so perfectly after much practice.  Truly, I bought the album because he told me to do so, trusting his advice because he is an undershepherd and because he knows something of night terrors.

The first night, I listened to it over and over again, for hours.  Now, each night, I fall asleep to it.  Each time I awake, I push the start button again.  My heart soars at its beauty, taking comfort and strength that our Creator would give His creation such a gift as is music.

The first night, I listened to it over and over again, for hours.  And I wept.  I cannot hear the words.  I cannot understand them.  The truth, the Gospel, that is being poured over me is completely lost to me.

I used to sing. Not all that well since my break is in an awful place. But I did. The asthma changed that. But really the scrambled brains did so more. I never read music; I learned everything by ear. In the groups I sang with, I could give people my note and they’d find theirs. I was also a fair hand at working out harmony.

Sunshine and I sing hymns together. Sometimes we find one I can sing harmony, but rarely...not as much as either of us likes. And I have not been able to learn any of the melodies she has sung for me, even If God Himself Be For Me—a Gerhardt hymn that I long so much to be able to sing.

I struggle to learn hymns because I cannot hear the melody. One thing good, great gift actually, the pastor of my last parish did for me was to make those audio files of hymns so all I heard was a single voice singing the melody. I learned 27 hymns that way.

The ex-professor part of me oft wonders why it is that I can no longer distinguish notes of music. Why I cannot work out harmonies any longer. And why I cannot hear the words in so very many recordings.

The music on the album my pastor recommended is so very, very beautiful. Utterly. I am truly thankful that the Holy Spirit prompted this undershepherd to speak of that which would help me battle the terrors of the night. But I also sorrow because I cannot understand the words.
How can such a cross glorify Him, help me? 
Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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