(Published just prior to General Conference weekend)
Jess Glynne has a hit song with a timely message for the United Methodist Church delegates at this weekend’s conference: Hold My Hand. This music could help the Methodist church face a significant historical moment as it decides how will it treat its LGBTQI+ believers who are called to be its pastors.
Here’s how that works. And not just for Methodists…for you.
Music Care for Your Mind
Mentally, the lyrics of Hold My Hand invite at least two levels of understanding. First, the words cry out for resilience after a breakup. But deeper than that, don’t they also ask for reconnection to what matters most: human being? The tension between what was lost and what comes next is the mental paradox grounding the whole song. And because the paradox cannot resolve one way or the other, it can only be – must be – embraced by innovation. This is the great Christian mandorla in real life.
Music Care for Your Body
Hold My Hand is a song that won’t let you sit still. You just gotta move. It does this with perfect rhythm at exactly the right beats per minute (around 120bpm). Instant aerobic entrainment – for most of us – toward energetic motion. This breakup song isn’t about moping around in depression; it’s driving ahead, fully forward-focused. Powerfully realistic.
Music Care for Your Heart
Powerful music is music that aligns completely with our emotions. Hold My Hand owns us, mind and body, but that’s not enough. You can find the same magic in the music. Most of the melodic lines rise…dramatically. Except for a very short, quiet bridge, the music is literally uplifting. All those rising melodies just pull our emotions upward with them. Physiologically, we can’t help it: we were made this way.
If we are emotionally grounded, we can rise higher. Solid foundation means taller, stronger building. That foundation is right there in the music, 120 times each minute, unmistakable: kick drum. Reaching out to help your heart beat, and you want that because these emotions are intense and they feel, strangely, really good.
Music Care for Your Soul
All that energy – mental, physical, emotional – is there for a reason: human connection. Hold My Hand isn’t about going solo; it’s about the longing for a togetherness that only can come spiritually, at the level of the soul. Being close, cared for, safe, trustworthy, “all in,” – those are spiritual attributes of human connectedness. They feed us at the level of the soul – or, to use scientific terminology, as pleasantly-necessary increases in neurotransmitters and hormones related to heightened positive physical, mental, and emotional states.
Hold My Hand invites us to be all in: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a song for you: will you take the singer’s hand? You don’t have to walk alone. Now you know why the song is so effective, use it. Yes: use it. Here’s how:
– If you’re solo, grab your headphones. If you’re in a group, turn up the volume. Queue up Hold My Hand. Don’t press Play just yet.
– Invite yourself (or everyone) to allow any unresolved difficulties of the present moment to come to mind. Remind yourself (or everyone) that music is powerful mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
– Now press Play. Experience. Go with it.
– When the music ends, thank yourself – or everyone – for listening.
Gratitude and Appreciation
If you are a Delegate at the Conference, thank you. The World needs to have this conversation, and your burden of publicly legislating church doctrine helps advance understanding. Whatever decisions are made, thank you in advance for your giving your energy and compassion to the process.
And thank you for listening.