“What do you do when you have lost your song?”
What do you do when you have lost your song? Psalm 137
Even at a young age many of us come to realize the important ways that music can affect our emotions. I can remember as a kid discovering how certain songs energized me, made me want to dance, or made me feel joy. I can remember how other songs made me reflect, feel quiet or kind of sad, and how sometimes I actually wanted to listen to the sad songs because that is how I was feeling, and the music helped to express those feelings. As I became older I had a friend in seminary who shared with me how a particular song she had heard in a support group really helped her as she was grieving the death of her father and I learned the power of music as people are coping with loss.
Music is said to have healing properties. When grief or loss has struck, people will sometimes feel strength or solace in a particular song that speaks to them. But what happens when a person does not feel like singing? What if there wasn’t a song to connect with?
This was the situation for the Israelites who been taken captives by the Babylonians who had invaded their nation. In Psalm 137 we hear their lament, “how can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Their grief was so great that they were not sure they could sing the Lord’s song again. But by the end of the lament they are vowing not to forget. They are committing to remembering and not forgetting their home city. Perhaps this commitment to remembering can also help us through our seasons of loss as well so that we too might once again sing the Lord’s song.
Is there a song that has helped you through a difficult time? Can you remember a time when music brought you some comfort during a period when you were struggling with something? Is there someone you might share a song with who could use it at this point in their life?
-Pastor Erik Goehner
August 2, 2019