Bridging the Generations
by D'Ann Mateer
When this “sing a song” topic came up, I thought Great! I can do that! But it hasn’t been that easy. Instead, I’ve written this post at least ten times, sometimes in my head, sometimes on the computer. And every time I’ve erased it. Why? Because asking me to write about a song that means something to me is like asking me to write about a book that means something to me! It’s impossible to choose!
While I do love music, can read music and plunk a few notes on the piano, and did actually sing with a praise team at church for a few months many moons ago, I am not a musician by any stretch of the imagination. Yet my youngest son is. So while he and I traveled to a friend’s book launch party the other night I decided to solicit his opinion.
“We’re blogging about songs for a couple of week,” I told him.
“What song are you going to do?” he asked.
“My first thought was ‘The Motions,’ but then there’s ‘I Need You’ or ‘Glorify Your Name.’”
He nodded his head. I could hear the thoughtfulness in his silence.
“Those are great songs,” he said. “But what about ‘Your Love Never Fails’ or ‘Highest and Greatest’? Or do you know any of Phil Wickham’s stuff?”
I told him I did. His sister had shared that music with me. He rattled off several more songs, ones he plays in chapel at school and at the Sunday school hour at church. His suggestions spurred more thoughts on my end. Back and forth we went, talking through lyrics and music. And as we talked, it occurred to me: instead of creating a generation gap, music was bridging one.
That’s not to say he and I agree on all music. I know he rolls his eyes at some things I like. I do likewise with some of his. But at that moment, we were able to find those songs—songs that spoke of our God and our faith—that brought us to common ground. Music can do that. It can divide (and I’ve seen way too much of that!), but it can also unite. We can choose to focus on the differences in style or volume (and I’d just like to note here that my children tell ME to turn the music down!) or we can find those artists, songs, styles that cross the ages and speak to both young and old.
Are there ways in which musical choices have affected your relationships? Has it been the common ground with someone you had trouble connecting with? Has it caused issues in your family or your church? How can you use music to spur reconciliation?
Or on the lighter side: do you consider the role of music in your life like songs in a musical (punctuating and explaining various situations and feelings) or like a score that plays in the background and is not necessarily noticed?
Photos courtesy of Photoexpress.com. Except the boy at the piano. That's my baby!