Friday, February 22, 2013

A Chapel A Day- Day 7 (Do You Hear What I Hear?)

Have you ever been brought to tears by something so grand you could hardly catch your breath? Perhaps it was a sunset, the birth of your child, standing at the base of a mountain that reached to the skies or at a ridge overlooking the Grand Canyon, or standing on the deck of a boat looking out at a vividly blue sea with no land in sight.. just the beauty, and the stillness, of the water. 
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Maybe it was the time you flew above the clouds... seeming to almost touch Heaven as you traveled by air from here to there.  

The grandness of life has a way of catching us off guard.

So does the simplicity.

Day 7 of A Chapel A Day found me spending my hour of time inside the grandness of First United Methodist Church in Pensacola, FL. This historic church is regal, beautiful and filled with an air of reverence. I was there for a special Wednesday night Lenten service.

Courtesy: FUMC Pensacola
We sang the hymns that night to the accompaniment of the church's pipe organ. It was beautiful. According to the church's website, the organ weighs 50,000 pounds and has "4,153 pipes all strategically voiced for Pensacola First United Methodist Church." Now that's GRAND! Frequently, the grandeur of the beautiful music puts a lump in my throat. 

But, on Day 7---it wasn't the magnificence of the pipe organ that stirred me. 

It was this.

Minister of Music Rev. Rick Branch (he's also the organist) played "Jesus Loves Me" on the handbells... with a soft piano accompaniment. 


One note at a time.  No fanfare. No great mountain, or high clouds, or deep,wide sea. Just pure, simple, beautiful notes.  

I was entranced. I sat in my pew without moving. Before I knew it, small tears were spilling out of my eyes. The simple beauty had caught me off guard. 

In 1 Kings 19, we are told that Elijah stood on a mountain waiting for the Lord. As he waited, a strong wind came by followed by an earthquake and then a fire. But the Lord was not in any of those grand events. Instead, we are told that after the big, and no doubt noisy, moments... the Lord came to Elijah in a still...small... voice.

Day 7's chapel time challenged me to be ready for the small moments.. as well as the big ones. I'm challenged to balance listening to the grand and beautiful sounds around me with sitting still and listening to---the sounds of silence.

Because when the important moments come--no matter how simple, still and seemingly small---  I don't want to be caught off guard.

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