Have you ever wondered about what you are doing here at this moment? I don’t mean the particular place; I mean the space you occupy in the universe. Have you ever felt so out of it that you wonder if you are traversing the right paths, on the right lane, on the right plane? Have you wondered what voice is there to soothe it all?
What triggered this was as I listened to the media there was talk and concern about the condition of the nations, the republics we call home. There are the shootings, poverty, inequality, the issues of women, race, the endless reels of such malignant evil, pain, suffering, murder punctuated by extraordinary waste, and extravagant fabulousness etc. It was always the contrast between epic harshness and over the top people having the time of their lives in this never-ending cycle of opulence and disaster. So much so that it was as if the world spun in extremes from abject lack to unfathomable excesses. Life beckoned and you could be either happy or deeply sad, perhaps fate doled out joy and despondency and what you got, you deserved or just got! I found myself flabbergasted, overwhelmed, absolutely irritated and a little angry. I turned away from my digital forage eager to reset and see something else, but not just anything, something good!
So I did it, I turned to the Christian channel and the programming had not changed, it was all about what a particular super star pastor in his megachurch was doing. Or some information about being under siege and how much the “world” must be forsaken. It was filled with people who seemed to be happy, almost homogenous instance, attitude and care abouts. It was all good news and the bad that the good people were fixing. Everyone smiled, seemed happy and seemed loving. Ironically some were over the top extravagant, a few were regular, many seemed aspirant to the better life. It was all that, full of so much programming, a few contrasts, so many similarities yet felt hollow, very hollow with echoes of emptiness.
I stopped to wonder if this was the intended of media, the depiction of contrast. The daily unfolding of two separate worlds nudging us to take sides, to know one or the other. To gain one or the other. The choices ought to be obvious it seemed to say. One is good, the other even if not all bad, is definitely not so good.
The more I peered into each lens, my eyes full on, watching for my cues for joy, relaxation, peace, trust…it was as if it all came clearer just as suddenly as my hope rested. I realized it deep in my mind, that what I had seen where two views of contrasting presentations structured to interpret the world incorrectly. In the secular media, peace was absent for the most part and it was as if that was the goal. Ironically, the Christian network with all its smiles and geniality brought no respite, no succor to the mind.
This is where I would like to spend the rest of this chat. I will place my focus on Christian media because after all, the Church through The Word which is Christ is the Panacea for all issues, isn’t it?
The question becomes, was the missing respite an outcome of just not doing enough of the same thing or was it tone deafness? I wondered about The Lord, Paul, Moses and of course many of our churches today who were and are so aware of their surroundings and understood clearly what is going on and respond with teachings and activities appropriate to the need. Still it made me wonder is the Christian engagement or brand, tone deaf?
Can they hear what Heaven is speaking and even still what Heaven is singing, do they communicate and display that higher and deeper place, follow the emotions, it represents and displays, a higher and deeper place to communicate and reach?
The act of singing or speaking is akin to a human wind instrument – like a trumpet complete with a bellow and vibrator – the output like the sounds from a trumpet are the words in speech or the sounds that are made in melody or singing. In 1st Corinthians 14:6 it says if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, how then will we know to prepare for battle.
So it is not just enough to make sounds, but the type of sounds made matter. The sounds that are coming out of the “Trumpets” of Christian media must have a certain sound. In other words it is important to hear sounds of distinction and peculiarities. Sounds that tell what to do and how to help and heal our world, packed with the power that Grace and Mercy brings. The sounds must be familiar with the heart structures and aches of the generation. Acquainted with the places of hurt. It’s healing and ministry must address all the ills like pain and suffering and racism and issues that women suffer and unholiness and right and wrong and show the derivation from the world and how to live ad triumph over adversity.
When the message bearer is so discombobulated from the essence of the issue, it is like the physician that says to the patience, “I am here, now heal theyself”. It is like a musician that plays an uncertain tune, unable to decipher “musical sounds” with the full assurance that the audience cannot delineate “musical sounds”!
It is ironic the Bible mentions the instrument (a trumpet) as the controller of the sound, determining the pitch and sounds. The trumpet is akin to the Christian media being the controller of the content put out on it, that is, what tone and pitch it will carry. For example will it take a word from scripture and apply it to real time events and report on how to tackle and eliminate the issue?
Tone deafness – known as Amusia, can be congenital (not caused by brain lesions or damage) or acquired (due to lesions on the brain/brain injury) amuse typically
Tone deafness is a problem in the brain, not the ears – in the spiritual realm that would be equivalent to the mind!
In tone deafness – you can hear speech pitches and intonations, but you cannot hear musical tones and pitches! It is very specific.
So we can hear the pitches of The Word of God – in The Highs (David’s triumphs, Moses leadership, Elijah’s calling fire from Heaven commands etc), and Lows (the pursuit of David by his son, the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, the Israelites sins etc), and we get it and understand that life happens this way and that way and God does this and that but are these pitches and their intensity applied to realities of the hurts and pain and issues or instead is the Christian media reticent, and making a sound that is unrecognisable, not decipherable from the issues of life? The Trumpet’s sound was to give a notice to a specific action whether to battle or rejoice to all that would hear and yield, is that not what the Christian media should be? A respite, not a leaking faucet. A place that head on brings the antidote to ills, with the scars to prove it!
Note that while I have used the Christian media as a stand in, it represents the voice of all those communication engines who claim or want to provide the antidote to the world!
About Ngozi Bell
Inspiration, Hard Work, Innovation. These three foundational elements anchor Ngozi’s core belief that manifesting the extraordinary is always within reach. Inspired by her mother A.C.Obikwere, a scientist and author, she learned the privilege of living at the edge of important encounters and dedicating herself to robust and perpetual learning. Ngozi’s background is a combination of Physics, Engineering, Venture Capital/Private Equity, regulations, and business where she has managed over $1B in cumulative revenue. Ngozi is a speaker, storyteller, and writer on a diverse set of topics including AI, iDLT, ML, Signal Processing, iOT, women, entrepreneurship and more. She contributes regularly to VOA, has been a TEDx speaker and is published on tech and non-tech platforms. She is a champion of STEM, women, youth, art and the Africa we must engage. Ngozi is an adjunct professor of Physics and management with work
experience in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and North America. She is a founder of a number of a number of enterprises and host of the podcast Stem, Stocks and Stews (https://anchor.fm/stemstocksstews-podcast).