As I watched the Grammy Awards last night, I was intrigued by the spirit of the event. It seemed to make an effort like I had never noticed before in an awards ceremony to actually celebrate humanity. The amazing artists created focused moments to look at issues of women’s abuse and issues of brotherliness and kindness and love. In fact, several of the Grammy winning songs were ones that focused on love as a key element or on the need we all have to simply be connected to each other. Beyond that, it even seemed to celebrate faith no matter how a person might define faith for themselves. Music is one of the arenas that brings people together. It doesn’t rely solely on heritage or ethnicity. It doesn’t just seek its own voice, but often reflects the hearts and minds of many people regardless of whether it’s country music, or rock, or rap, or international in flavor. It’s people-binding. It reminds us of our oneness and who we are at the core.
One of the Grammy winners was a group called Beck. When they performed their winning song, I was quickly reminded of my great love for Simon and Garfunkel. They were the first live performers I ever saw at a concert and I was fifteen years old. They had awesome harmonies and created soulful ballads. I especially liked Paul Simon’s rendition of Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. I recall that they depicted a girl who was “empty as a pocket,” yet she had diamonds on the soles of her shoes. Many of us can identify with what it means to be empty as a pocket. We get overwhelmed by life’s downturns, or the unexpected disappointments and we feel alone as reflected in Sam Smith’s song with a chorus of “stay with me.” We forget that we’re surrounded by good things and that we walk in grace and beauty every day. We do this because of the One who feeds our souls and makes sure that we have the things we truly need, the things reflected in the Grammy’s like love and happiness, and safety, and a sense that someone is there when we feel alone. The fact is that we’re not really empty as a pocket at all, but able at any time to be filled and we simply have to tune into the music, the Spirit of joy that is possible for us.
As you hum your favorite songs today and reflect on those talented musicians who stir your soul in every good way, reach out to those around you who don’t yet have a song. Help them hum a little, dance a little, and seek to join in the chorus. Before long, they too might just echo the words of love and shout “Glory!”
May the music in your life never end!