Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)
TITLE: Notes from Earth
By Elizabeth Burton
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So good to hear from you! I’ve been following your research on planetary mapping and black holes – seeing the patterns you’ve discovered made my heart sing with praises; His handiwork never ceases to astonish, does it?
My own work continues to frustrate me. Humans are a complex subject, one I’m convinced would take all eternity to fully understand. As an illustration, consider that I’ve spent the last millennium concentrating on their relationship to music. I can imagine what you’re thinking: how could anyone spend that much time on such an obvious, trivial subject? We all know the music of the earth declares His glory. What more is there to say? I can imagine this, my friend, because that was my reaction upon receiving this assignment...I was sure I’d have it all summed up in a year at the outset! But what can I tell you? There’s more to this study than any of us could have imagined.
You see, humans don’t hear the earth’s music. There’s nothing wrong with their ears (Millhouse’s study on why people ignored Noah’s warnings proved that conclusively), but their minds are able to block out anything they don’t consciously turn their attention to. Unless they focus on the whisper of the wind, for example, they would swear they heard nothing. Even the rocks and hills, deafening in their praise of Heaven’s majesty, go unheard. The song of the sea pierces their hearts at times, but like everything else, once they become used to it, it fades into the background. It’s a rare soul who can consistenty hear the music He’s placed all around them.
But the animals, you’re wondering. Surely their melodies, made of mouths and vocal chords so much like the humans’ own, must be unmistakable to them! Well, as with so many things pertaining to humans, the answer is yes and no. A bird’s song can break through to most of them, but few would acknowledge the hum of cattle, the giraffe, or the lowly snake. Those who live in close contact with animals seem to have an easier time hearing their music, but as human societies move further and further away from any relationship with the earth, I fear some animals’ songs may be completely lost their species until His coming.
What, then, do the humans hear? (Or more to the point, surely, what have I found to study for so long, as the Angelic Human Discovery Committee will inevitably ask when I complete my report?) I know you’ll be as surprised as I was to learn that humans actually have something of their own creation that they call “music.” They’ve developed a host of instruments they use to create sounds, and sometimes those sounds are combined with human voices. The results range from pleasant to downright jarring, but for every type of “music” they create, there are humans who enjoy it. They claim it evokes emotions in them. How this process works, I have yet to determine, but perhaps my inquiries will shed some light on it before too much longer.
You must be wondering whether I’ve lost my mind. What could possibly be so interesting about a human creation? (Even the phrase itself is an obvious misnomer – as if the humans could actually create anything apart from His indulgence! The Tower of Babel seemingly taught them nothing.) And that, I must reply, is the single most fascinating piece of this puzzle. What has so piqued my curiousity, kept me at this work for so long, is what He has done. In this act of rebellion, this obstinate “creating” of an art form they believe to be totally human and untouched by Him, He can be seen. Most humans don’t recognize His intervention for what it is – they will speak of “being inspired” and of having words and melodies spring fully formed from their minds – but who else in the universe can harness the creating power?
And oh Maximus, what truly glorious music occurs when humans see their creations as His gift! Their songs then join with the music of the earth and shine His magnificence to every corner of their world and beyond. That, my friend, is Creation as He meant it to be.
I must return to my work. Give my love to your fellow laborers and be sure to visit me when your project brings you close to Earth.
In His Wonderful Name,
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