We are joining in the Ash Wednesday Communion at the Methodist Church down the road, 10.30 tomorrow morning. Michael has already sorted the service. I’ve got the sermon, but also the hymns. There’s one I’m not familiar with, so I’ve swapped it for ‘O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus.’ It definitely sounds like a sea shanty when I play it on the squeeze box – but then there’s something of the rolling waves woven into the melody and the words.
I enjoyed playing it in preparation. If it works, you get all the black and white notes tumbling out in the right order without knotting your fingers, and the bass comes in more or less on time, maintaining the precarious and dynamic balance, and the song floats along pointing clearly to God’s deep and living love.
Or at least that’s how it fires in my imagination. It may sound like untuned bagpipes to anyone passing by. That’s the thing about the harmony we produce. It sounds perfect in our shower, or as we belt it out while wearing headphones, but it may just be different for other beholders. They may not be willing to invest the grace you need to see the beauty going on.
It may sound just ordinary tomorrow. I’m prepared for that. When you share music, you often hear it through other people’s ears, and it does lose that resonance it had. I know that well. I have reconciled myself to the fact that, for example, most of the world does not recognise the sheer beauty and expressiveness of Dylan’s voice. Their loss, I console myself.
But then again, it may just take our breath away. I hope people come and share their grace, and enable that to happen.
You can practice as you play the following…