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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: Bruce and Sarah's Daughter
By Ed VanDeMark


Bruce and Sarah’s Daughter

Key is what I start my car with. Beat is what I hope every team that plays the Yankees does and Melody is Bruce and Sarah’s daughter.

When I was in Navy boot camp the man in front of me was constantly out of step. The really odd thing is that the guy behind me was also out of step.

Two Yamaha music teachers came to our Rotary club to demonstrate how they teach music to two year old children. I would have comprehended a pig Latin presentation of the technique as readily as I understood what ever it was they said.

For years I told people “I hate music”. I was one of five boys in my seventh grade music class that was deemed un-teachable. For two years we sat in the back of the auditorium while the other kids studied music.

The only way that I can clap to the beat is to search until I find someone that looks like they know what they are doing. If I happen to choose the wrong person to mimic at least there are two of us. That’s one better than there was for the thirteen weeks I spent in boot camp.

Decade after decade I honestly believed that I hated music. James 5:13 wasn’t my favorite verse. “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is any one of you happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” (NIV) I was definitely in trouble I couldn’t sing “Happy Birthday …” without hearing a chorus of “shut up”.

In 1993 I went on a “Walk to Emmaus” and loved this dynamic spiritual retreat. Eighteen months later I served on a Walk to Emmaus team. My friend Ross was a pilgrim on that weekend. On Saturday afternoon several of us were together on a break. Ross said “I thought that you hated music but you seem to be enjoying the music we have here”. I’ve never prided myself on being consistent but this inconsistency was heresy. I really did hate music but I allowed myself be sucked into not just enjoying it but participating in it. I was publicly exposed as a hypocrite. In an attempt to save face I recounted my painful musical history. For the first time I realized why I thought I hated music. On that day the Lord began a healing in my life. In time I found several types of music that I actually enjoy. No, the healing didn’t include clapping in time with the music or a love for acid rock. It was none the less a healing.

I’ve discovered that my enjoyment of a melody can be enhanced if I interpret it into visual terms. The sopranos are the reds, oranges and yellows in a painting. The altos and the tenors are the blues and greens. The purples are the baritones while the browns and the blacks are the basses.

Several years later I wrote:
Songbirds wait in a mist-cloaked hush while
Crickets sing their final chorus and the sun wipes its sleepy eyes.
God gives his angels flight to bless the dawning of a new day…and then…
The soprano voice of a crimson rose solos before baritone mountain peaks, tenor pines and an alto sky…
And to each listening heart the Spirit proclaims “in Jesus there is a new beginning”.

A month ago a song writer friend that I know from the Montrose Christian Writers Conference said “I think you can write song lyrics”. Donna invited me to send her some of my poetry. She believes that she can set my words to music. We have a good God that can turn mud into delicate china and the musically inept into lyricists.

Miracles are a gas!

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This article has been read 635 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 08/31/06
Wow. I really liked this. I liked the idea of music being a painting, and actually used a modified idea in my entry. Great job.
Lynda Lee Schab 09/02/06
Isn't it funny how God works sometimes? Tone deaf, unable to sing, yet writes SONG lyrics. Hmmm. Sounds like a God thing to me.
The piece was good, laced with humor (which I love!). I didn't really understand what the opening (and title) about Bruce and Sarah's daughter had to with it, unless it was their daughter, Melody, speaking. But that wasn't quite clear to me. A suggestion I would make is to come full-circle and tie everything up at the end with the Bruce and Sarah thing. This gives a sense of satisfaction to the reader. Well done!
Donna Powers 09/03/06
I loved the idea of the musical parts being portrayed by colors. A lovely imagination, and I can so imagine that God would lead someone like this to be a songwriter. God uses us in spite of ourselves.