In my early teens, I became very interested in music as a way of understanding and expressing my feelings, something I felt like I couldn’t do through speech or any other means. I tended to latch onto specific songs that resonated with some part of me (though unfortunately since all non-Christian music, and much of Christian music, was suspect of “leading me astray”, many songs I latched on to I wasn’t allowed to listen to). I always sort of felt that if I could share those songs that really touched me with someone, if we listened to them together, maybe they would understand me and we could connect with each other.
Dad and I fought a lot during that time, something that had been the case going back many years but which definitely got worse in my teens. I remember there was this one song, Crazy All Around (by Christine Glass), that I heard on a Christian radio show and really liked, so I got the CD. Once during a car trip to church on some weeknight with just me and Dad, I got the chance to play my CD in the car, and I was hoping we could enjoy the song together and connect through a shared experience of it. He was quiet for most of the song, but it got to a line near the end “Felt the angel bend and kiss me/ran away and hid in fear” and he exclaimed “What the hell is this!?” I was deeply disappointed; once again I felt like I’d tried to share my feelings, my unique experience of life, and I was rejected. I remember feeling, “Really? Is there nothing I find meaning in that’s pure enough for you, that you can appreciate the beauty of without picking apart any small hint of worldliness you find?” After that, I gave up hope of being able to connect with him through music.
At some point, I don’t know when, I developed a dislike for the song and never listened to it again.
You were my first love
The earth moving under me
Bedroom scent, beauty ardent
Distant shiver, heaven sent
I’m the snow on your lips
The freezing taste, the silvery sip
I’m the breath on your hair
The endless nightmare, devil’s lair
Sensitive people are under-appreciated in our society (at best). The beauty they see in life and humanity inspires us with hope for meaning, and it compels us to protect what’s valuable. But their sensitivity makes them much more aware of how things we take for granted in our laws and customs can be damaging to people, and that awareness frequently sets those sensitive people at odds with the society around them.
People tend to ignore things they find painful. This sets up filters in their brains that rejects such information before it even reaches their conscious mind. But realize what this means: such people have deliberately made themselves unable to see reality for what it is. Sensitive people, who feel pain too strongly to ignore it, can’t do this, and consequently have an automatically better understanding of what is really going on.
When someone opposes you, your inclination is always to fight back, instead of understanding why the person is opposing you. If that person is a sensitive person, however, your fighting back is going to overwhelm them and make it hard for them to explain why they’re opposing you. In your mind, they’ve become angry belligerents, and their sensitivity to beauty is lost to you. That makes it easy to write off their concerns, which results in an unfortunate loss of necessary feedback — much like cutting out your eye because you don’t like what you see.
There are some people who are belligerent because they want to take power. But others do it because they want to make things better and minimize people getting hurt. Opposing the latter group results in a harsher society for everyone.
Remember this: to his society, Jesus was a belligerent. But his desire was to help people. That doesn’t mean every sensitive person is Jesus. But failing to take sensitive people seriously contributes to the destruction of people and increased suffering in society.