What would you give up for who's not here?

You know a commercial series has its grasp on you when you see an actor in another setting and can't shake the image you have of them selling you something, say insurance.  J.K. Simmons put aside being the professor at the University of Farmers to make a pretty good movie.  

I watched him recently in The Music Never Stopped.

How many people have you met that did not like music?  There was a book of the Bible that was written about those people, but since there wasn't that many of them it didn't get included in the canon.  Most people love some form of music or, at least, understand that music touches the soul like nothing else can.  If that's you then I think you can appreciate this film.

The Movie

It's based on a true story about a husband and wife who learn their estranged son has been found to have a brain tumor.  The tumor is removed, but their son is left with no ability to form new memories.  The last memories they have of their son is from 20 years earlier when he stormed out of the house after a heated argument. He was a teenager then in the 60’s. He questioned everything and wasn't sure he wanted the life they thought he should have. Since then they have wanted to find out how he was doing, and maybe even make sense of that night.

Now, even though they have him back, communicating with their son is next to impossible because of his condition.

The father, Simmons' character, begins his own research and finds a doctor that has had positive results from music therapy. This has a personal connection because he and his son once shared a love for music. So, they used some of the classics they both enjoyed when the boy was a child. The result?  Nothing really.

Something amazing happened, though, when they experimented with music the boy loved as a teenager like the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Beatles.  The music triggered the son's mind into action; he and his parents were able to share conversation and even talk about their past.

There's more that can be said about the movie.  I'd recommend it to you.

I'm writing about it, though, because it's been on my mind ever since I watched it.  Gloria even stayed awake for it.  I felt like God was saying, "Here's something worth repeating."

The father and son once shared in the joy of naming composers and tunes they loved.  Many of their selections came with stories about when they first heard them.  As music is introduced as a possible post-op therapy, they begin with music he and his son loved.  The father is a bit outraged to eventually learn that music is not having an effect.  Instead, it's the God-forsaken rock music that is making the impossible happen.  The father has to come to terms with that.

He can continually force the issue about what music his son should like or respond to, or he can use what music is now meaningful to his son, if he wants this new-found interaction with him.  Once dad understands this is the only way he can have a meaningful relationship with his son, he goes all in.  He buys the records, learns the songs and even attends a Grateful Dead concert.  Believe me, it plays out more emotionally on film than it does on blog.

The Point

But it made me think about the church.  I cannot tell you how often I hear people who so desperately want their church to grow.  Specifically, they want their church to be open to young people and their families.  Ask those people what they're willing to do to reach those young families and they'll tell you, "Whatever it takes."

That is until you start talking music.  But don't think this is all about music.  That just happens to be the topic of the movie.

What about worship styles?  Or the need to have childcare workers, or cry rooms.  Or the willingness to refuse to turn your head if you hear a baby cry in church.  Or this ministry.  Or that ministry. Or [Input your sacred cow here].

Those families and people your church has been praying for?  If you and I were to get over ourselves and learn to live with a little more change and become a little more flexible, more of them might show up.  Be careful because your flexibility might come across as caring.  It might be that because they think you care they want to be a part of whatever good work you're doing at your, maybe their, church.

Jesus did not greatly commission us to go and teach traditions for traditions' sake.  God forgive us when we have let what is comfortable for us get in the way of what Jesus really wanted us to do.

So, what is it you may need to cool your jets about?  What in your church do you see as a potential new-life stumbling block for new families and people of faith?  Do we care more about the people or our supposed tradition?

By the way, you've probably forgotten about it by now, but there never was an extra-biblical book about people who hated music.

Stay blessed...john

0 Responses :