Finding Joy: in Clamour and in Silence
Julia Beacroft – Three out of my four adult children are tone-deaf when it comes to singing. Not that this seems to have affected them in the slightest, as they have a multitude of gifts and talents between them that more than adequately compensate for this loss. However, it did take some time for one of them to come to terms with that fact…
My elder daughter, who is exceptionally bright and unusually gifted at both English and maths, can’t hold a note if her life depended upon it, but this certainly didn’t stop her from trying.
In fact, as a teenager we surprised her in the act of singing along to one of her favourite female artists of the time, hairbrush in hand — for a microphone — at full volume, and tossing her long hair about diva-style! Thankfully, she now laughingly admits to her inability to sing and prefers to let others exercise their vocal chords instead.
At my own parish church we forewent the usual recessional hymn during the season of Lent this year. When this was announced the week before Lent started, we were told that “the Church sometimes needs a time of silence”. And of course, this is so true.
However, I was struck by the fact that we can find God in the silence — something that can admittedly be difficult to achieve in our hectic, everyday lives — and in the joyful clamour of our songs of praise and love.
At a conference I attended at the very beginning of Lent we were spoiled by a liturgical extravaganza of music in the liturgies and Sunday Mass. The musical accompaniment and singing were sublime and it was not difficult to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit during such a glorious sound, nor to praise and worship the Father.
I’m sure I speak for most of those there when I say that we were keeping our lives in tune with the Lord’s and entering into his Song.
We have so much to be thankful for in our normal everyday lives, and not least of these is our ability to find God. He makes himself available to us whenever and wherever we need to find him.
In his wonderful diversity, we can access him in the Word, the Eucharist, other people, nature and at many other times and in many other places.
And furthermore we can be aware of the gentle voice of the Lord in the silence and manifestly aware of his beautiful presence in the lifting melody of our voices raised in song.
And better still: no hairbrush required!
Julia Beacroft’s book Sanctifying The Spirit is published by Sancio Books. It is available on Amazon.