Her eyes searched my face with bewilderment. Without skipping a note of the congregational hymn, I squiggled my eyebrows to ask her what was wrong. She leaned close to me on tiptoe and whispered, “You’re singing weird!” For a minute I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at her perspective of my attempts at harmony or to sigh at my apparent failure to blend beautifully into the song. I didn’t mind admitting ignorance to the finer points of music; but ignorant or not, I had to find a key I could sing in when the range of the song-leader soared or dipped past my own. Harmony was the only way I could cope, so off into that delightful new world I journeyed, making discoveries that forever changed how I used music. My younger sister’s lack of appreciation failed to bother me since I knew she was slightly tone deaf anyway.
Since I have not studied music in depth, I know not how to describe its glories, its grittiness, the psychology behind every note. But I have found that harmony is like faith.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
To the untrained ear, harmony can often sound like a string of discombobulated notes, especially when sung without the melody. If we began singing the accompaniment instead of the melody to every song, imagine the confusion!
When we walk by faith instead of by sight, life can seem like staves full of alto, bass, and tenor notes with the soprano missing. That’s because our human eyes can’t read the whole score. God can. He sees the reasons for times of trial, testing, triumph. He knows how every obedience we struggled to give, every lesson it hurt to learn, each blessing we didn’t expect, weaves our story into the greater Story; how each measure contributes to the finished hymn.
The harmony of faith will sound crazy to some, just as my singing sounded weird to my sister. Following the notes Jesus Christ arranged for us may draw unpleasant opinions from others who do not know salvation’s song.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
To those who have not received Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as their only salvation from sin, faith is utter foolishness. A life of faith makes no sense. But to those of us who have experienced the transformation only God can work in our spirits and lives, faith is the part of the song that makes an ordinary tune extraordinary, unique, glorious. That’s why I choose to sing harmony. That’s why I choose to live faith.
Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”