” . . . harmony!”

“How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony! (Psalm 133:1)

A few weeks ago we stopped for a visit at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.  What a feast for the senses!  I was particularly moved by this statue in the courtyard called, “The Angel of Harmony.”

The visual delight of the statue was enhanced by the gentle sounds that wafted from the wind chimes bedecking the wings of the angel. I was moved to stay and enjoy the statue for several moments, taking photos from almost every conceivable angle.  What a sacred experience in the warmth of the fall morning!

Harmony is an interesting thing.  I’m a drummer. (Notice I was not brazen enough to call myself a musician.)  I can hear and feel rhythms.  They just seem to come naturally, allowing me to pick up the sticks and enter into the music.  I think some might call that an aptitude for rhythm.  However, I have no aptitude for harmony.  I can certainly appreciate the splendid harmonies in a piece of music performed by a group, but I can’t hear the harmonies to sing them myself.  If I hear a melody, I can’t pick out the harmony.  I can copy the harmony and sing along if I’m standing next to one or more persons singing the harmony, but I can’t hear it myself.  Sometimes harmony comes naturally, and sometimes it takes a lot of work.

Musical harmony means different voices or instruments play different notes that blend in such a way as to produce a sound that is pleasing.  Isn’t it amazing how sensitive we are to wrong notes.  The right harmony produces sounds that are pleasing to the ear and soul.  Wrong notes in the midst produce discord and unease.  If all the instruments played the same notes the sound would lack the richness and depth that we crave.  It takes some experimenting to find the right notes to blend, but the result is truly worth the work.

Sometimes I wonder if we want the richness and soul-satisfying effects of harmony, but fail to achieve it because we’re too afraid to allow the voices of the choir to sing their different, harmonious notes.  Sometimes I wonder if we confuse living in harmony with living in homogeneity.  We want the richness that comes only from allowing each to be different, but fear the difference and push for all to be the same.  Maybe we lack the patience required for each to find the right note to sound in harmony together.

I find that living in harmony does not come easily.  I have to work at it.  I have to carefully listen to the other to get a sense of who they really are.  Only then can I learn to trust them and appreciate the notes they add to the harmonious blend of our lives together.  I have to get near them so I can hear the particulars of their part of the harmony.  Sometimes I might even learn to sing their part with them.  Other times I just learn to appreciate their part and sing my own, giving thanks for the experience of blended voices and lives that God is able to produce when we allow.  I pray that God will continue to help me to to do the work to live in harmony. How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24


~ by revgenelson on November 4, 2015.

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