Wind chimes have not really been one of my favorite things. At least most of them. I guess I’ve been around some poorly made, poorly tuned, chimes that are often grating and annoying, rather than peaceful and soothing.
So, a few months ago, when I arrived at SonScape for a week-long retreat I was somewhat dismayed to note that there was a wind chime on just outside the rear door to our suite. I wondered if there would be a way to “disable” it or even remove it, but then forgot about that as I enjoyed the spectacular view of Pike’s Peak and took note of the wonderful accommodations that were supplied. The air was absolutely still so the chimes were quiet and I gave them no further thought. In fact, I didn’t notice them again for three full days.
In the midst of a time of reflection and prayer, seeking God’s direction and insight, I expressed my frustration that God seemed rather silent and was failing to make himself known. Linda and I were being very quiet in a setting created for solitude when I noticed gentle, sonorous, music just at the edge of my consciousness – perfectly tuned wind chimes playing in a very gentle breeze. Unbidden, my thoughts seemed guided to the insight that God, like the chimes, is there all the time, he is often silent, and rarely makes much noise, and is often forgotten, but never forgets … and speaks gently and peacefully into the chaos of our lives … even if we don’t understand the words.
I began to hear the chimes more often, and missed them when they were silent. They became something of a metaphor reminding me God’s presence and his peace. I noted several themes within the metaphor that mean much to me – including the recognition that chimes speak loudest in a storm.
So, I came home and promptly bought some chimes to hang outside my office at home. And every so often a gentle breeze has come up and the music begins. I’ll notice it after a while and smile at the reminder that God is there and he is not silent.