I sit attentive, listening, sometimes holding my husband Ken’s hand. Emmy Lou Harris is performing. Her voice at 67 remains true; her passion for songwriting and singing still strong. Lines of unwritten poems, dialogue for scenes in a novel in process, somehow interweave with her songs as my mind goes into writer mode. And thoughts of my eldest son are with me too. Music speaks to my son. I always had music on as a background from the time I became a mother to my eldest son Joel. I can’t remember when I began slipping a vinyl record on to provide me company. My days as a young wife and mother stretched too long and I was often slightly lonely. Music helped. Was that what drew my firstborn son Joel to music? Or was it placed in his DNA by God from before time? I only know that he would toddle to the stereo and stand bobbing to the music before he formed his first spoken word. And by 18 months he could operate the stereo safely as he’d select a record and place it on the turntable. There are things I don’t share well: my books, my music and my camera. But Joel had full entry to my heart and to my music. He never became an obsessive reader so we never shared that bond. But we do share music. His is an eclectic music taste, broader than mine, perhaps and surely more knowledgeable. Joel is like his step-dad in this. Ken is not a reader but he loves music. He owns hundreds of vinyl records, CDs and even some old tapes. His knowledge of music, like Joel’s, is far broader and deeper than mine. But while music evokes emotions in Ken, he does not turn to it to express what he struggles to put into words. Joel does. Music releases and expresses the intensity of Joel’s emotions. He sends me links to music that he is listening to. Those links are really a long letter from son to mom. I know when he is fighting depression, a nemesis of his, or anxiety, another foe. I understand when he is sorting through events that are difficult, challenging and painful. I pray for the day when his links will bring more messages of peace and joy because I know Joel’s music messages reflect his state of heart and mind. I thank God that Joel has this language; that we can communicate through music. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Psalms, an entire book of music, one of God’s countless languages. The Psalms are often songs of people praising God or pleading for rescue but it is in another book, Zephaniah that we read of God singing over us. That image is awesome, amazing, beyond my imagination and comforting. I pray that knowledge of God’s love of us for my music loving son Joel and all those who need encouragement of God’s love. Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” LORD my God, you are mighty to save. I pray that all those struggling today will turn to you, will allow you to save and that you will quiet them with your love and rejoice over each one with singing. I can’t imagine what that would sound like other than perfect, a perfection beyond my ability to grasp but within my ability to hunger to hear. I long for that LORD. Amen.