Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
The posh seats satisfied one-fifth of my senses, but that comfort didn’t make up for the disastrous clamor attacking my ears. Clamor would be an understatement. I sat 100 feet from a rehearsing symphony, except, they weren’t officially practicing yet. Thirty minutes would pass before that would commence. Instead, each individual member entered the stage to prepare his or her own instrument, all simultaneously. In addition to this, our group’s docent was attempting to inform us about the symphony hall. She could scarcely be heard over the instruments. The collection of noise was almost more than I could take.
Boredom etched its way into my mind. Daydreaming began. For some reason or other, I thought about God. More like wrestled. Someone had recently told me that pain exposes our theology. Questions surfaced. I believe God is sovereign and good. I believe He is the Author of this grand chronicle we all live in. I believe He is present in all the situations which cannot be remembered without weeping. But how does all the daily pain and hurt fit into a coherent story that will one day glorify Him? How does He look on as a child is molested or as a subway terminal full of commuters is obliterated and plan that all of it will one day glorify good? It is maddening.
Amidst my daydreaming, the conductor walked across the stage, shook a few performers’ hands, stepped up to the podium and raised his arms. Everyone’s attention narrowed on him. He willed his arms into motions I could not understand. And then…music. Not noise, but harmony. Magnificence. Beauty. A painting for the ears. The previous disordered noise could hardly be remembered. All the individual practicing once painful to my ears now had purpose. The culmination of it all created something so beautiful that only listening can describe. Only then, when all was blissful, did I understand why the conductor required the chaos before his entrance. Only then.