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Sing for Joy
Singing for joy is not restricted to church songs or any particular pieces of music, because vocal expressions of joy are quite natural to everyone. When, in our joy, we do not make use of identifiable songs or musical phrases, we still might spontaneously draw out words with a range of sounds that expresses our feelings. Even a single word like “wow” can be lengthened and run through a range of modulations that are sung, not simply pronounced as in normal speech. Or, with a fair amount of variable intonations, we might say/sing something like “Oh my goodness!” Even the letters OMG can be sung with joy rather than simply spoken flatly. We have an innate capacity for using vocalizations that convey more meaning than is contained in the dictionary definitions of words. To be fully experienced, real joy often requires more expression than merely spoken words can convey. This is true even when we do not use our voices: we can still sing for joy interiorly as a very human way of acknowledging beautiful and meaningful realities.
Without conscious efforts on our part, we might find at times that we have a song in our heart that accompanies any number of possible causes for joy: a moment of appreciating beautiful colors at sunset, an unexpected kind word or a gentle religious experience. Such interior songs can be actual hymns or songs that celebrate our joy or they might be recurring phrases or even wordless music that resembles humming or heartfelt sighing. Any occasion that causes us to sing for joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God. When we become aware of movements of joy within us, our spirits resonate in particular ways that affect our bodies in a manner similar to our physical resonance with audible rhythms and music.
Some stereotypical artistic pictures of saints and angels show them as playing musical instruments among the clouds. Such static, soundless images might or might not evoke for us the deeply human capability and even exigency of singing for joy. Joy is not a constant companion for us now, or at least not at the level that would cause us to sing continually. But if we imagine the possibility of an eternal, unmitigated cause for joy at being in the presence of God in company with all those who are part of absolute Love, we can at least begin to imagine music and song as a fitting aspect of life now, and also of life after death.
We can sing for joy as a response to experiences that occur. We also have the real option of singing joyful songs in order to bring to mind and heart thoughts and feelings that elicit joy. That is one of the reasons that hymns and songs are part of many religious contexts. Singing expresses joy and also disposes us for joy. This is particularly true with songs whose words or music resonates with truths inside us that we might or might not be able to articulate very well.
“Sing for joy” is not a command, but an invitation that matches perfectly the way we are made.
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Last Updated 4/24/17