Our minds are generally well attuned to bells. We are introduced to them early on; sterling-silver, grip-sized, little play things, jingling in our clumsy baby hands, delighting us with their sound. The shimmer and the beauty capture our senses and draw us in.
As we grow and develop, so does our taste in bells. Now we prefer them faster and louder, and more importantly, attached to wheels! Whether the bells on your bike declared your presence through delicate chimes or blaring defiance, either way they announced, “Take notice! I’m coming!” Streamers flying multi-colored from the handlebars, pedals racing, and pigtails in the wind…”Honk! Honk!”
But soon those bells are not enough, as faster, louder, shinier bells entice us. Automobiles are far better for announcing one’s presence and captivate us with their shimmer and beauty more than the rattle with which we were first enamored. Still, how we are drawn to the shine and sound! True, our minds are generally well attuned to bells.
The rattling of the cans dragging behind the automobile mixes with the tolling “ding-dong” of the wedding bells as the car pulls away from the church. The cacophony is nevertheless delightful as we watch and point, wave and clap at the parting couple. “My, she was beautiful!” we proclaim, as they depart for their honeymoon amidst the clamor, the confetti, the dinging and donging. Everyone is so enthralled, so attuned to the bells.
The story begins to repeat here if it is not interrupted. Life simply goes on governed by the bells. There will soon be bells in rattles again, then school bells, telephone bells, doorbells. A whole host of bells vies for our attention and competes for our focus day to day, year to year, with an unrelenting “ding-dong” and frequently an accompanying shine to capture the eye.
But step away from the noise and the shimmer and be still. Listen closely, beyond the bells.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and dine with him and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20, NKJV).
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him,” (Isaiah 53:2).
Oh, my gentle Savior, forgotten amidst the din! You are overlooked and slighted by the glaring orchestra of temptation that bids us, day by day, to look away. Give us eyes that seek you in the midst of all the shine and ears that are keenly aware of your knocking. Forgive us our forgetfulness.
As the bells of the rattle sound in the tiny palms of the infant, Lord, let us call to mind your words:
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,” (Isa. 49:15-16, NIV)
Beckon us, Lord, to stand in Your presence, as you did Elijah. While You were not in the powerful wind, nor the earthquake, nor the great fire that passed him by, you were in the gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13). Attune our ears, Father, to your gentle whisper, to your knocking, that we might never forget You amidst the clamoring of the bells.
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