Everyone in the car was a Christian, or at least doing a really good job at faking it. They were the married couple who worked for one of our author’s ministry. I worked for a Christian publishing company.
For the first part of hour-long drive to the airport, they put themselves up to the daunting task of trying to sell me on country music.
I will admit to enjoying Chris Stapleton, but that’s it. Even that was hard to admit.
“It’s really cool how music connects so powerfully with almost everything,” I said, trying to segue into something that didn’t involve more lyrics about trucks and whiskey. “I mean, I love stories, and even I admit that music has something to it that words by themselves don’t.”
She nodded, saying, “That reminds me of….”
And she stopped, the thought just kind of fading into nothing.
“It reminds you of what?” I prompted, because the conversations that almost die are usually the most interesting.
“It’s nothing, really. Just something my pastor said once in church.” When I waited instead of letting her off the hook, she mentioned that her pastor talked about how part of being made in God’s image is the ability to create—not in the same way that God does, out of nothing, but taking something and making it beautiful. And how, because music has such a deep, emotional resonance with us, he liked to think that the words of creation were actually music, that God sang the world into existence.
We talked about that, and about why music has the power it does, the entire rest of the way back to the hotel. And it was something, really, not a dismissive nothing or a trailed off, half-finished thought. “Wow,” she said, when we hauled the luggage out the back, “I’m really glad we talked about this.”
And it made me realize: we have a habit of making faith-related conversations highly personal.
Those are things we talk about in small group, or to our immediate family members or best friends, and only sometimes, only when we’re feeling particularly brave or needy or thoughtful.
This does not actually make sense. Let me explain why.