Friday, January 15, 2010

Music and Silence

Last night I was listening to Focus on the Family’s audio dramatization of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters (whew, that was a mouthful…) and I came upon a rather intriguing statement. I quote from the book, letter number 22, “…it [speaking of a certain Christian home] bears a sickening resemblance to the description one human writer made of Heaven: ‘the regions where there is only life and therefore all that is not music is silence.’”

Screwtape goes on to say, “Music and Silence – how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since Our Father [For those unfamiliar with The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape is a demon, and the 'Father' he is referring to in this case in Satan. It sounds pretty freaky, but it's a very good book.]] entered Hell…no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise – Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless…We will make the whole universe a noise in the end…The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down.”

Well, seeing as it was nighttime and I was lying there in bed with nothing else to do, I started thinking. (I ended up staying awake until nearly midnight…that wasn’t part of the plan. *yawn*)
Music and silence? Why would the writer that Screwtape referred to say that? What’s so significant about those two things? Well, this is the connection I’ve made, whether it’s what the original writer intended or otherwise.

First of all, what do we know about Heaven? That our days will be filled with praise, eternal rejoicing unto the Lord. And, usually, praise and worship is accompanied by music. So, music = praise. The way I see it, whether or not we are actually making music, our hearts will be singing, and we will be forever glorifying God with all we have in us. Our lives will be songs, exalting his love, goodness, and holiness.

But Music definitely shouldn't be reserved for Heaven alone! In our daily lives here on Earth, we must strive to bring Him honor in all that we say and do. Let nothing you say or do give anyone any reason to doubt your God. Give Him the glory he deserves. Make Music for Him. (Something that immediately comes to mind is Casting Crown’s song, Lifesong. How appropriate!)

Now, what about Silence? Well, I’ve found that it is in the calm quiet, early in the morning or late at night, when my thoughts turn so much more easily to the Lord. It is then that I can focus. I can pray; speak to Him about all that is on my heart. I can read His words without interruption and meditate on what He is trying to tell me. It is so easy to become distracted by the Noise of life, that we need Silence. In the Silence we hear His voice clearer, for it is then that we have surrendered our attentions to Him alone.

So, in Heaven, and on Earth as well, we have Music and Silence; Praise and Meditation; Worship and Communication; Singing and Listening.

So, now you know what to expect if I say anything like, "I was laying in bed last night..."



Travis Long said...

hey really cool picture for your profile. Just thought I would say that. It was good to read your stuff and I hope that you get to write a book someday! Keep up the good work for Him!

MacKenzie Pauline said...

Thank you!

I'm still trying to decide whether I like it enough to keep it...does it go along with the title of the blog enough? I mean, if you look waaay out the behind the tree, there could be a fence out there, right?

Gwendolyn said...

There is a fence in view beyond the tree. :) I think the blog title is very nice.

You made some very interesting observations there. It's true, and is often portrayed in many fantastical stories, that music and silence are loathsome to evil. Evil must have dissonance and terror to wreak it's havoc on the world, and naturally, order, calm, and song goes against that.

Galadriel said...

I really want to listen to Radio Theater's adaptation of Screwtape. But I would add one thing...not all Music is helpful. I can think of several songs that just add to the noise.
Gala of DioM

Teenage Authoress said...

Hey, its Samii!
And this was a fascinating post. Very fascinating. *rereads and meditates upon*