Thursday, May 10, 2012


In music there is something called dissonance, a “simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion.”

In choir we’ve been singing the song Psalm 150 - based on the short, but powerful Psalm written as praise to God. The chorale piece, at times sung in eight parts, is lovely. But right at the most beautiful of phrases (in word and music) comes the dissonant chord. It is unsettling; a true clash of cymbals. Beautiful and unnerving, my heart is glad when its over. Harmony feels complete.

Dissonance feels awkward, even distressing. But I can’t help thinking that it is also a gift given as a picture for this beautiful life... more importantly it is an encouragement for the eternal life to come. 

Today I look around me and choose courage because there is God-given beauty - today - and it gives me hope, but there is something I cannot put my finger on; something that causes me great dissatisfaction. Something, that in the midst of a million brilliant moments, causes unrest and leaves me grasping for resolution. The now and the not yet.... dissonance living. Sometimes I can ignore the uncomfortable sound, that part that makes me uneasy. But sometimes the unrestful tones are so loud I cannot hear the beauty between.

Someday, God will resolve this unrestful chord and we will throw our heads back in relief and our songs will burst forth. Until then, we can use that sound as a reminder to look to Him who sings over us in love (Zeph 3:17). Three times in John 15: 9-10 Christ says this: (As my Father has loved me) Remain in my love. (Obey my commands) Remain in my love. (As I obeyed my Father) Remain in my love.
It is this active, living, sacrificial love that gives us the room to readily, wildly, praise Him even in our unresolved moments. He loves us and has promised that dissonance will not chain us. There will come a day when our uneasiness, our fear, our discontent will no longer hinder us because we will be standing face-to-face with Him who makes our joy complete. (John 15:11)
Dissonance resolved. 


Cathy said...

Love this.

Being highly involved in music, this analogy really spoke to my heart!

Thank you!

Cindy said...

Great post! Think I'll share. Blessings to you my friend.