I love wind chimes! There is just something about them that really soothes my soul and makes me smile. At our home, we’ve been working on cleaning up the yards and gardens to prepare for the spring growth. We have this set of wind chimes in one area and, while cleaning around it, I found the chime weight hidden in the ground covering, having fallen off at some point. When I found this weight I realized that I hadn’t really been hearing these chimes very loudly. Now I knew why. Without the lower weight the clapper didn’t have much force behind it to strike the chimes.
I was stopped in my tracks with the realization of how much our lives are like these chimes. Chimes are meant to be enjoyed by those around them, to make music that makes one’s day better. No one gets enjoyment if the chimes are sealed off by themselves somewhere or are broken and not ringing. We too are not meant to be sealed off from one another or broken. We are meant for relationship. We are meant to be whole.
While this necessary time of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic may make us feel alone we don’t have to be. Thank goodness for technology to call, audibly and visually, friends and family. I really miss physical contact with others yet I am finding happiness in virtually meeting with some girlfriends every Saturday afternoon. Thank goodness for the post office so that cards can still be sent and received, bringing celebration and encouragement. I was still able to mail birthday presents to my nephews and receive a palm cross in the mail for Palm Sunday. Thank goodness for social distancing so that we can still be in the vicinity of others yet safe. Thank goodness for healthcare workers and other essential workers who are making us feel less alone. We can still bring a light into the lives of the people around us just like a chime’s music brings joy. Let us pray every morning for God to open our eyes to one way we can help someone that day. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Maybe this time of isolation is making you feel more broken then usual. Do you feel as though anxiety and depression may be rubbing their hands together excited to have another crack at you? Possibly you’ve never really struggled with either but are feeling down a day here and a day there. Either way you might be thinking, “Tammy, I really can’t help anyone.” I hear you. I have felt like that, having good days and bad days, wanting to help someone else and then wanting someone to just take care of me.
Let’s go back to my broken chime. Without that weight that had fallen off I wasn’t hearing my chimes much. It technically was broken. We can be broken too. The first step in changing that is to acknowledge our brokenness, to share them with God. The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we pray about the weight on our soul we open the pathway for Jesus to work healing in us. That is what He came to do, to set us free from our hurts and show us a way to the life for which He created us. Jesus refers to this purpose, this unexpected healing, spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 61:1-4 when He visits His hometown synagogue in Luke 4:16-21. You can hear more about this in a message I recently shared: https://youtu.be/kUGprFfAah0 (around time stamp 5:20).
Once we’ve acknowledge our brokenness can we ever make music again? Yes! We must let the weight on our lives get worked out in us and through us. That weight, that burden becomes part of our beauty. Don’t stuff your sadness down and hide it away like it doesn’t exist. On the other hand, don’t live in the sadness and let your joy be stolen. Ask God for comfort and peace then act like you belief He will provide it. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Our hope is in Christ. Then, when you experience God’s peace or feel relief of any amount, share that with others. We so badly need to encourage one another right now. Others need to know that God does provide help. It has increased my healing even more when I have shared how Christ is making beauty out of the ashes in my life. In turn, I have been on the receiving end of others sharing the healing they are finding in Christ. What a blessing!
What other actions can we take today to make the weight on our lives make beautiful music? Share the music of your mended soul!