Peace through Music

I love this video clip. It’s Jeff Vojtech, Mike Geiler, me and Alisha Sauer singing this beautiful hymn by Stuart Townend. I love the music. I love the text. I love the harmony. And when I sang it with these three, and when I listen and watch now, I feel peace.

I think music is one of those places where we do find peace. It strikes me always when I watch the musical, “The Music Man.” My favorite part of that movie is when Professor Harold Hill diverts the school board from investigating him for fraud by forming them into a barbershop quartet. These four quarreling men who seem to really have no respect for each other, blend their voices into perfect four-part harmony by simply singing the words “ice cream,” each on his own note. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. And the fight is over; there is peace.

I wrote a lengthy essay on that topic a few years back and the thought comes back to me now in this time of global crisis. Wars in Syria, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, the Ukraine. All over the world we are experiencing the lack of peace in the form of conflict and people – people just like you and me – are being killed and maimed and are suffering in so many ways.

It is hard to watch this on a daily basis and feel inadequate to do anything about it. I pray. I cry. I shout at God and say, “Why?”

And then I think back on that fictional account of four school board members in River City, Iowa, singing together. Their fight is over and music was the answer. And I know that is very simplistic thinking.

But that is my dream and my prayer and maybe it is just that simple.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to organize the world’s largest choir? I am talking one or two or six billion people! I imagine that we would all sing just one word – peace – in whatever language was our own, in harmony. And for the briefest of moments, there would be peace and harmony.

And maybe it would lead to more moments. And maybe there would be peace.

On days like today when planes are shot out of the sky, and armies march, and missiles fly, and children die, that’s what I think about.

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