Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Typist or Calligrapher?

I know almost nothing about music from India. But I heard an interview with someone who does on NPR this morning that included a statement I've thought about all day. Some Indian musician died recently (don't mean to be disrespectful--I told you I didn't know much about it), and the NPR piece was about him. Near the end of the piece, the narrator talked about the musician/teacher who had died. He told a tale of a time when the teacher had told a voice student that he his singing was way too much like typing--that he needed to learn to sing more like handwriting. Then this afternoon, Deanna was here at the church giving a piano lesson, and I heard her tell her student that it was time for her (an adult) to start feeling some of the music instead of just playing it from the page. I'm as suspicious of feeling in religion as a Presbyterian is supposed to be, but I do think there is something about the thinking of the NPR guy and Deanna the piano teacher that can be helpful to us. Paul talks about the Law being our guide while we need one. That doesn't mean we can abandon the Law, but I hope it mean we can eventually get to a point at which we're not so worried about dotting i's and crossing t's and can spend more of our time and energy listening for and responding to God's call. I offer neither my penmanship nor my practice of the faith as a model for others, but I do think we'd all be helped if we lived and believed more like handwriting than typewriters.

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