Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13




This article shared 4240 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Music is an important part of all of our lives. Many people talk about being moved by the "spirit" when hearing a song. Sometimes it makes us clap or sway or dance or sing along, and sometimes, it can change us. Music is a powerful force in our lives and in our worship. Dr. Lee Patterson is co-founder and serves as Minister of Music for Resurrection and Hope Ministries, an affirming ministry that loves to hear the songs' of all of God's children.

Dr. Lee Patterson


For what seemed like an eternity, she took in a slow, deep breath of preparation. I would swear that the entire congregation took in that same long breath of anticipation with her. Suddenly with an emotional intensity matched only by her sinewy lyrical control, she reached up with her voice and plucked out a perfect high E from the heavens themselves, "…How great…Thou art." As the soloist completed the phrase, she transitioned to a minor chord, jazz-tinged riff filled with cascading arpeggios and peppered with unpredictable vocal twists and bends that would have made Aretha herself sit up and take notice. She milked everything out of that last phrase -- running the note down through a span of at least two octaves with each flawless tone falling effortlessly into place like pearls onto a black velvet glove. And then it was finished.

It seemed as if the church and time itself were frozen for a breathless moment. Then the dam broke: a swelling wave of emotions gushed out of the congregation's people. Some yelled, "Hallelujah!" "Girl, you better sing that song!" "Praise Him, praise Him!" Some shrieked or screamed unintelligibly. And some just quietly sat with their heads bowed as they unsuccessfully tried to choke back streams of tears in silence because they simply could not find the words. But still, everybody in his or her own unique way "got happy." They got happy.

Somehow the collaboration of the booming and swelling chords of that old Hammond organ along with the polished, yet sincere, vocal dexterity of the soloist managed to take a stiff 19th century hymn; drag it up through more than 100 years of social upheaval, turmoil, and injustice; stop for a moment in this 1973 unair-conditioned Sunday service; and gently apply it like a healing balm to a congregation full of various hurts, emotional scars, and unspoken dreams.

It was over 30 years ago that I witnessed that particular collective experience. And I cannot remember a more vivid or tangible example of how direct and immediate the effect of music can be on someone's life. Through a child's eyes, I saw a building full of broken and weary people become transformed in that moment -- their hopes restored and their spirits revitalized -- if only just long enough to help them make it through another week.

That's the healing power of inspirational music. That's the subtle force of motivation ( and when necessary, consolation ) that a true psalmist, writer, or instrumentalist wields with each inspired and artfully woven phrase or chord progression. Whether it takes the form of sweaty, belted out, in-your-face gospel; soothing, melodic strains of contemporary Christian; or even the dissonant, electronic, decibel-challenging guitar solos of alternative Christian punk, God's music is for the people.

In the Bible itself, we find a description of this medicinal power of music at 1 Samuel 16:23. This passage shows a vengeful and emotionally troubled King Saul who would have the young David play his harp whenever a heavy spirit of distress came upon the king. Through the beautiful, comforting music created by David on his harp, the burdened King Saul found refreshment and release from his distressing spirits.

However, inspirational music is not only used for the purpose of "calming the savage beast." It is capable of so much more. It has the potential to uplift and encourage the hopeless; nurse and comfort the wounded; melt the hearts of those hardened by years of cruelty and rejection; and even initiate the process of breaking down centuries old barriers of misunderstanding, judgment, and prejudice.

Understandably, this is a pretty tall order to place on a few little dots, squiggles, and dashes mystifyingly arranged on five-lined musical paper. But just know that this order has been filled many times before. So with some unselfish effort and emotional transparency on the part of the artist, it will be filled again.

Now to all of those who sing, play, and/or write the music, never forget that it is through our notes and phrases that God continues to speak, heal, and ultimately transform. It is an awesome responsibility. So we must make sure that we focus not only on the proficiency of our performance, but even more so, on the sincerity of it. I've heard it said that, "what comes from the heart, reaches the heart." So there really is no denying the healing power of music when it is truly inspired. After all, God dwells in the praises of the people - ( Psalm 22:3 ) .

Dr. Lee Patterson, MD is a practicing physician in the Chicago area with professional experience in gospel music and worship. He is cofounder and minister of music at Resurrection and Hope Ministries -- a young, growing ministry in Hyde Park that provides an Open & Affirming atmosphere for the nurturing, education, and full worship experience of all God's people.

This article shared 4240 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

VIEWS Mike Johnson: The smiling face of Christian tyranny 2024-02-14
- Mike Johnson wants to rewrite the constitution to make the United States a Christian nation. James Michael Johnson, Republican from Louisiana's Fourth District, is the 56th speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was ...

Gay News

VIEWS Parents, not legislators, should be making decisions about medical options for children 2024-02-06
By Jeffery M. Leving - No matter the medical issue, when it comes to kids, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said something last December that every lawmaker in the country should realize when it comes to medical decisions for children. "Were House ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...

Gay News

VIEWS Is the Pope Catholic? Francis faces opposition in steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity 2024-01-02
- The recent change in Vatican policy allowing priests to bless same-gender couples has provoked an unprecedented backlash against Pope Francis and his openness to LGBTQ+ people—a backlash that some fear might devolve into a schism in ...

Gay News

Bring Chicago Home: Guess who's saying no again 2023-12-04
Commentary by Bob Palmer and Mark Swartz - Chicago is ushering in an era of change with a new progressive mayor with a vision to invest in communities long ignored and a significant increase in like-minded city council members. We are excited to see ...

Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen 2023-11-28
- It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...

Gay News

Banning the Banning of Books: Illinois and California lead the way 2023-10-26
- In June, at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation banning book bans in Illinois public libraries. This legislation, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, passed the Illinois House and ...

Gay News

OPINION Renewing state's Invest in Kids program is investing in anti-LGBTQ+ hate 2023-10-23
- In February 2020, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield warned transgender students in the Diocese's educational system that they "may be expelled from the school" if they live their lives authentically. Lansing Christian School ...

Gay News

Gilbert Baker Foundation reacts to death of shop owner who flew the rainbow flag 2023-08-29
--From a press release - In response to the murder of Laura Ann Carleton over flying the Rainbow flag in her shop in California, the Gilbert Baker Foundation released the statement below. Facebook refused to post the statement as it did not " their standards." ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT U.S. higher education under siege; freedom of inquiry and speech at risk 2023-07-03
- The Covid pandemic threw a harsh spotlight on higher education in America, exposing forces eating away at the foundations of college and university learning, calling into question the traditional purposes of such education in our post-modern, ...

Gay News

Guest essay by Florida mom Nicole Pejovich: What's Happening to Florida's Public Schools? 2023-06-19
Related video below - A queer Florida parent answers questions about recent laws, how Floridians are coping, and how you can help Books pulled from school library shelves by the dozens. All evidence of inclusivity stripped from classrooms. The politically ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT For divorced parents, transgender children's health can present tricky dilemmas 2023-06-12
- Over the last few months, issues impacting individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary are getting a lot of attention in the media and among some politicians. Sadly, because it's become a political issue; a lot ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT War in the 21st Century: mercenaries, private military companies, private armies 2023-05-20
- In 2022, $407 billion of the Pentagon budget—representing half of that year's funding —were obligated to private contractors, of which a significant number were Private Military Companies (PMCs) involved in ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Telling the world about my mental health disorders 2023-05-04
- Over the years, coming out as a lesbian hasn't been that hard for me—because I was always too busy hiding something else. Confessing queerness can be a breeze compared to revealing mental illness. But I decline ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT German bishops endorse blessings of same-sex couples: Ancient rituals retturn 2023-03-31
- This March, at a national meeting of leaders of the German Catholic Church (referred to as a synod), a document titled Blessing Ceremonies for Couples who Love Each Other" received overwhelming support: 176 votes in favor, ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.