How will we use the awesome power* of our voice in response to tragedy, great evil, or injustice?
Yesterday was a difficult day for most of America I am sure, unfathomably worse surely for the parents, educators, staff, and community members involved in and around the terrifying events at Sandy Hook. I had intended to sit down yesterday and pen a part two in my response to the Psy controversy when news struck of all of this. You know what? I did not feel like writing one bit yesterday! I would imagine that many others shared that sentiment.
We have to tackle issues like this however. Most of us have a voice, a voice that has an awesome power for good, which I explore in Tuned In. Some people have platforms that reach millions, what an incredibly opportunity!
The question is: to those who have any voice at all, whether you have a small platform of followers on a blog and social networking or you are an established artist or writer with millions of people at your reach; what will you do with your voice when the world weeps?
What we do with our voice matters significantly and affects the world far beyond us, and maybe even long after we are gone.
So as we continue to wrestle with what it means to write, and to sing songs that others have written, let us consider how we use the power of the voice in the songs that we write or sing.
In times like this, people, communities, and a nation are in need. What most people need right now more than answers and information is comfort, peace, and often a vehicle for weeping and mourning and others to share with them in that grief. Sadly two of the powerful vehicles for communal grief sharing in song have been largely missing from both the world and the church for a long time now, the corporate lament and the blues. Where have they gone? I would submit that the more they are needed it seems the less they are heard ringing from the voices of those that need them most.
How will we use the power of our voice to meet one of the most pressing needs of others in a time of tragedy? Now is not the time to incite arguments, vengeance, or debate, but rather to consider most a people in great need.
Author and Worship Leader Bob Kauflin asked a powerful question that every tuned in musician should consider:
“Are we regularly leading songs that the people of Newtown, CT could sing this Sunday morning? We need to be.”
I echo this question and maintain that it is a question every musician that seeks to be tuned in must ask of ourselves, and I would also add to it, not just on Sunday morning and in churches across the nation, or in the world, but also in coffeehouses, concert halls, on the radio, and in recording; are we regularly writing songs that create a climate and vehicle for corporate lament, grief sharing, and weeping?
*I realize that using the word awesome can seem a little presumptuous and even problematic. I address this in the book, and my hope is that we would all come to understand one day just how powerful the voice is; it is far more powerful than most of us realize.