Each week I lead a sing song in the complex continuing care wing of the hospital where I serve as Coordinator of Spiritual Care.
The other day, as I was leaving my office with my guitar, I was asked by a fellow musician,
“Is your guitar all tuned up?”
My reply was,
“Well, it is tuned to itself. But I am not sure if it is truly tuned.”
Do you ever say something in conversation and then realize that there is a spiritual truth contained in your words? That is what happened to me as soon as I said it.
My guitar at the hospital is tuned to itself. The two e-chords are an octave apart and when I play a chord, it sounds right. Therefore I can easily accompany the singing of the patients. But if someone else brought in their guitar to play along, it may or may not sound harmonious.
What would we need to do? Well to play together we could tune our guitars to each other. That would work for our duet. But what if we wanted a pianist to join us? A professionally tuned piano would reflect a true pitch and if the guitars did not have that reference when they tuned to each other, it would not sound right.
Obviously, a guitar tuned to itself is still useful. It can be used in limited circumstances, to bring joy to the one who plays and those who listen. Two guitars tuned to each other can also make a great sound and bring happiness.
But guitars tuned to perfect pitch can play along with all other instruments tuned in the same manner.
There is much emphasis to day on self-care. We are urged to embrace mindfulness, to monitor our emotional health and care for our bodies. This could be considered a way to tune our whole being so that we experience balanced, harmonious and useful lives that bring happiness to others.
The reality is that many people in this world are very balanced within themselves. They live good lives and are pleasant to be with. If their lives were music it would be pleasant music.
When they meet with others whose lives are also well tuned, they can connect and make a difference.
But self-care, without spiritual awareness is still limited. I need to become aware of the divine “perfect pitch” found in Christ. I need to tune every part of my life to the music of His grace, love and mercy.
When I am tuned in this way, God can use the music of my life in ways I could not otherwise imagine.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.