I’ve had some very painful moments in the last few weeks, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The pain literally sent me howling a few times. It was 3 or 4 days until the doctors and nurses found something that would quiet it down. What I discovered, however, was an amazing calming effect that singing brought.
Desperate for what to do to keep me from focusing on the pain, which only made it worse, I suddenly thought of singing — out loud — some of my own songs. What I found was that I kicked into a performance mode — like I was delivering the song to a number of people, causing me to focus on the lyrics, what the song was saying, and why I wrote it in the first place; the message originally on my heart that was now stirring once again. All this happened and definitely helped me manage what I was going through. My voice got stronger and I just carried on. I was singing to the nurses, to the medical technicians, to any doctors around — I didn’t ask, I just sang.
My favorite song to sing was Lord of the Dance, because the verses have the whole gospel story imbedded in the lyric, but in a non-traditional, non-religious sort of way. That’s what I’ve always loved about this song.
“I danced in the morning when the world was begun
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had My birth”
“I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee
But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow Me
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John
They came with Me and the dance went on”
“I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame
They whipped and they stripped and they hung Me high
They left Me there on a cross to die”
“I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried My body and they thought I’d gone
But I am the dance and I still go on!”
“Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the dance,” said He
“And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the dance,” said He
“They cut me down but I leapt up high
I am the life that will never, never die
I’ll live in you if you live in me
I am the Lord of the dance said He”
There it is — the gospel, from creation to resurrection, to living and following Jesus now — all wrapped up in one simple song in ways you’ve never heard it. What a way to spread the gospel around the hospital. And what a way to get through whatever pain you are experiencing right now. This is for you, too. Find a song that feeds your soul and sing it. Sing it out loud (that’s the best), or in your heart and in your mind. Sing through the hurt and the pain — whatever it is that’s got you down. Sing your way through it.