The Soul-Reaching Power of Music

break | violin snail on music sheet | iolin,instrument,music,rehershal,break,violin maker,string instrument,string,wood,brown,sound,old,craft,art,play,enjoy,concert,musician,orchestra,solo,soloist,listen,work,classic,classical,snail,strings,loud,music sheI’m not a cryer–my closest friends and family will confirm this. Friend Nicole Petrino-Salter even referenced me in a blog post this week, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Apparently, I’ve previously mentioned my “ice queen” status when it comes to emotions.

No, I don’t cry at sappy movies. Not even during Marley & Me. Not even when >spoiler alert< Éponine dies in Les Misérables >end alert<. Of course my daughter and husband, who book ended me during that movie, were both sniffling. I, well, I chuckled. Not that I thought it was funny; that just is my natural, if backwards, reaction.

I don’t tear up reading books either, no matter how angst ridden they are, though I’ve been told that my book has spawned a few tears from its readers.

Blame it on the little bit of Scandihoovian blood in me.

But I will confess that there is something that will make me tear up, something that touches that deep, deep part of my soul that nothing else can reach.


And usually when I’m singing. Not every song has this effect. Handel’s Messiah, particularly the Hallelujah Chorus, will touch me, as will traditional Easter music, Jesus Christ is Risen Today or Crown Him With Many Crowns. Give me big organ, big choir, and loads of brass and the Holy Spirit’s presence becomes beautifully overwhelming.

Then there are the modern day worship songs that compel me to stop whatever I’m doing and focus on Christ. Phillips, Craig and Dean‘s Revelation Song, Great I Am, and Saved the Day all give me goosebumps, as does Kutless‘ Amazed (see video below) and Kari Jobe‘s Forever and David PhelpsNo More Night. There are more, but these are the songs that immediately come to mind. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the majority of these songs are Easter music.

Hearing my daughter sing or my son play trombone also touch the deepest part of me.

And going back to Les Misérables. I can’t possibly listen to Alfie Boe‘s interpretation of Bring Him Home without being changed. Just wow!

Why music resonates with me, why it awakens my emotions when nothing else does is a mystery. What I do know is that this beautiful music we hear on earth is just a whisper of what we’ll hear in Jesus’ presence, and I can’t wait to hear that heavenly chorus!

What touches you deep down that nothing else reaches?

by Kutless


Comments 9

  1. Being the opposite of you, Bren, music just adds another layer of emotional reaction to the “plague” of tears. Depending on the song, yes, music brings the onslaught of tears – even bona fide weeping. The one song that never fails to do this is the collection of artists in the old Rich Mullins song My Deliverer Is Coming ( It might be my all-time favorite Christian song, and I have many.

    You know I can cry at commercials, at something a clerk at the store says, a person’s countenance when the Holy Spirit reveals something about them I can’t put into words, almost anything about horses and dogs, films, music, etc.. And the list goes on. A sap for sure.

    1. Rich Mullins is a talent taken too soon. What a gift he had!

      During my pregnancies I’d cry at commercials–drove me nuts! Now, I have two sisters who are my complete opposite. They actually get it from our dad (this big, strong farmer who’s very emotional), where I’m stoic like our mom.

  2. I can’t make it through most patriotic songs without bawling. Also, Laura Story’s “Blessings” makes me completely lose it. We’ve sung it in choir and I was fine then but hearing it on the radio makes me stop and take it in more, sending my emotions through the roof.

    1. Hi Jolene!

      I agree about patriotic music, but it depends on who’s doing the performance. I love orchestras or classically trained musicians–Sandi Patty’s Star Spangled Banner gets me every time!–but I often wince when popular artists sing.

      I LOVE the song Blessings! It really does speak to the heart.

  3. As children, we always would laugh at my Mom who would cry during a Hallmark movie or something like that… but it didn’t take me long to develop some of those same tendencies. I think the first book I read that ever made me cry was ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’. I guess I was a young teen when I read it.

  4. Yes, I am just like you! The “ice queen” of emotions. 🙂 I get it from my non-emotional farmer father. But music can get me every time. “In Christ Alone” will make me cry, along with “The Old Rugged Cross”. After my 4th pregnancy I noticed now there are random emotional outbursts – mostly at dumb times like a commercial with babies in it. LOL. Bugs me!
    I love this post, thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad I’m not alone, Susan!

      I LOVE In Christ Alone! Our church used to sing it for Easter, the Geoff Moore version with that bagpipe-sounding instrument. It always touched me–with hundreds of voices joining together in worship, it was so overwhelming I couldn’t sing.

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