“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”
Anyone who has read much of my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog, knows that I love music. I’ve devoted my Monday posts to music topics and many other days end up including a music component, too. Music can lift my spirits, give me encouragement, and get me moving when I’m down. But over the years I’ve learned that not all music has this positive impact.
Many years ago I listened to a lot of grunge music. It was my favorite genre in the late 80s and into the 90s. This was a time in my life when I was struggling with major depression, and I liked grunge because it expressed how I felt.
I remember when my dad died in 1993, I kept listening to the song “Indifference” by Pearl Jam. I won’t post the video because it’s not a song I want to encourage anyone to listen to. But the first four lines sum up the gist of the song:
i will light the match this mornin’, so i won’t be alone
watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
i will stand arms outstretched, pretend i’m free to roam
i will make my way, through, one more day in hell…
Listening to this song never made me feel better, but I just kept listening to it, missing my dad, feeling alone and like I was living in hell.
We all know the old saying “misery loved company.” I think that is the draw of music like grunge or the blues, to know that someone else understands your misery seems comforting. But when the music doesn’t end with hope or any words of encouragement, it’s the wrong company to be in when a person is struggling or feeling down.
We all have times of struggling, of loved ones lost or physical or mental illness we can’t find a cure to, of lost jobs, or spiritual or emotional pain that just won’t end. When those times come, there is a lot of great music out there to lift your spirits and give you hope. That’s the kind of music I choose to listen to these days and the kind I like to share on Monday.
I still love to listen to the blues, but preferably when things are going well in my life. At these times it is a reminder of the struggles of this life that we all endure so that I remember to be compassionate towards those I encounter who may be struggling and to be thankful for God seeing me through my own struggles.
“Sing out your praises to our God, our King. Yes, sing your highest praises to our King, the King of all the earth. Sing thoughtful praises!”
Psalm 47:7, LB