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‘How could I be angry with him?’
My ears were still ringing as I drove home from the concert. I’d been playing keyboard with a band for my friend’s saxophone recital. The venue was small and the band was large.
I’d been upset and a little angry when the drummer played much more loudly than I was expecting. I do have ear plugs, but I had taken one out so I could hear certain instruments better as we played together. Now, I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe my hearing had been affected. My college’s school of music, where I study, had even recently been required to post charts in rehearsal spaces warning of the effects of extended exposure to certain sound levels. It was scary to me to think that something so important to making music could be damaged.
I’d been upset when the drummer played much more loudly than I was expecting.
As I unpacked my equipment at home, I realized I could pray. I wanted to address the anger and fear I was feeling and I knew that would involve reorienting my thoughts from a material sense of things (ears that could potentially be damaged) to a spiritual sense of things (that man is created and maintained by God, and every aspect of our lives is governed by His laws of goodness and harmony).
I thought about what Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures about hearing and sound. She writes: “Sound is a mental impression made on mortal belief. The ear does not really hear. Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul—through spiritual understanding” (p. 213).
Along these lines, I reasoned that the fear of losing my hearing had no foundation. Then, as I continued to pray, a surprising thought occurred to me: This problem was not about fixing my hearing, but about loving more. That might sound strange, but I’ve come to trust the messages I hear from God as I pray, and it was clear to me that love was the key.
As I thought back to the concert, I started to see the drummer differently. He was the happiest person there—so happy to support our friend who was hosting the recital. His pure joy had been a gift to the band and to the audience. I thought: How could I be angry with a person like that? He was following the command from the Bible to, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalms 100:1).
A surprising thought occurred to me: This problem was not about fixing my hearing, but about loving more.
In the same moment that I recognized the drummer’s joyful contribution to the performance, and appreciated it, the ringing in my ears immediately stopped and did not return. For the rest of the night I was able to focus on my school projects, which included practicing more music—without any negative effects.
It wasn’t until several days later that I recalled what happened and realized this had been a moment of healing—especially in the way I’m thinking about my fellow musicians. Loving one another, as Jesus taught us to, truly does bring harmony to every aspect of our lives.