A distinct memory and song have been playing through my mind this week.
I am standing between my grandparents during a Sunday evening hymn sing. I am old enough to read words and music. But, as we sing, I do not understand how these words and this tune go together. The words speak of something that should make us happy, yet the song sounds so sad. I sing along, but my heart isn’t in it.
After finding the song in Grandma’s hymnal, I smiled when I saw the key signature. I plunked out the melody in its familiar f-minor. Curious, I started on middle C, but played in the key of C. So wrong. I went down a step to the B. My fingers remained free from accidentals, and the tone brightened a degree. Yet, when I went back to the original score, I realized the key to the composer’s chosen minor.
Playing across the measures, I sensed a subtle softness a step down edged out. The melody was completely lost in going a half step or a step higher. Only by beginning at the keyboard’s true middle could the tune comply with the words.
To a child, who grew up in a loving, Christian home, I thought the song was all about loving non-believers and realizing how they perceive us. As an adult, I understand better.
I detect the melancholy dirge of imperfect humans failing to love one another as they should. Yet, placing myself within the musical interpretation of the poetic words and beginning with the middle note, I hear the true intention—a heartfelt prayer for reconciliation among God’s children. Listen.
They will know. How? The choice is ours.