I still don’t understand it. I have been a musician all my life. Not a good musician, but still—a musician.
A friend posted a link to a recording the other day. Eight people, mortals every one, sang music notes—notes I’m certain are in the normal twelve-note chromatic scale we use every day.
I can sing any of those notes. Really, I can. Perhaps not in the octave in which they sang, nor with the clarity, but I can sing them.
And yet, I sat listening and could do nothing but weep. Someone asked me the name of the song playing on my computer, but I could not answer for fear my voice would crack as I spoke.
It is not a rare occurrence for me. Perhaps, not for you either.
We are moved by great beauty, whether in nature or in art. It is not easy to explain. Maybe, it’s not meant to be.
There are things that are higher. There’s no than to follow that statement—no comparison to be made at all.
Higher things. It’s all that need be said.
My friend who posted the video is a student of the Celtic traditions and often speaks of the sites those ancient cultures described as thin places—places where it seems that heaven is just a bit closer to earth. I love the idea and would never argue that such places don’t exist (I’m sure they do); I just think thin places are to be found in more than only those remote physical locations.
My office desk is a thin place—sometimes. The metal bench in the city park is a thin place—occasionally. Anywhere heaven comes close and raises the hem of the curtain between us and it—just high enough to get a glimpse—is a thin place.
With a catch in my voice, I will admit I don’t understand any of it. I suspect many reading this feel just as confused right now. Today, the world around us is dark and we couldn’t find a thin place if our lives depended on it.
Higher things? Ha! The cacophony of anger and hurt is so all-encompassing that it almost seems we could never smile again, much less have tears of wonder and joy well up and cascade down our cheeks.
Still . . .
David, in an hour of deep unhappiness, reminded us that deep calls to deep. (Psalm 42:7-8) Even from the depths of despair, our souls recognize their Maker’s voice and echo it. Our spirits respond to His Spirit.
He will give us songs in the night.
Where no thin place is to be found, our Creator surprises and opens the curtain just enough—just barely enough—for a glimpse of glory.
It is no small thing.
Hope springs into flame again; resolve is rekindled.
There is work yet to be done. Our destination still lies ahead.
We journey to the place where no veil is between us and our Maker, the place where the only tears to be found will be of awe and wonder.
Higher things call us.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright.
But, still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”
(Higher Ground by Johnson Oatman, Jr. ~ American pastor ~ 1856-1922)
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 ~ NLT)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.