Most Excellent Harmonies

Aw white's just a hundreds of colors I'm told
And it's easy to be blind to the all the treasures we hold
Get up to the mountains, I get up high
And I take a look around before it all passes by.
Martha Scanlan, Hallelujah


There's this thing that happens here in my neighborhood each week and it's really cool; I love it. A couple of houses down there's a band that practices every Wednesday night. In good weather, they play in the garage with the door open, so their songs really fill up the air. The music, itself, is great, and sometimes really loud. But the truly great thing is that, clearly, no one is complaining. Usually they play pretty late. Loud and late. I Iove that our neighborhood has an in-house band. When it gets cold they go up above the garage and then you can hear the thump of the bass guitar. Every single Wednesday night. When we first moved here, a few years ago, one of our neighbors explained to me that the band had been playing together for something like thirty years, which now feels like a high number and I wonder if I'm making it up. Whatever the case, it's part of the fabric of this little place. Each week the music begins and I find myself thinking, "Ah...it's Wednesday."

I realized something recently that struck me as amusing. I live here, now, in a little white house and I drive a little white car. Somehow, at this particular stage of the game, I ended up living on Church Hill Road, in a house that has a beautiful pocket door with stained glass from a church. It seems a little unlikely, to imagine that all of this is a coincidence. That now, as a seminarian and an ordination candidate, as a student of all things God, I'm living here with all this churchy-ness and all this white. Did this happen by accident? Subconsciously? Was there a crazy master plan all along? I really can't be sure, though most of you know by now that I'm prone to think of life in terms of mystery and grace and divine happenstance. I tend to like to think that things happen as they should.

There's something else that I think, too.
 

I've spent a lot of time this past year listening to folks who are suffering in one way or another: some struggling with a medical diagnosis, some dealing with aging parents; some dying, some dealing with the death of a person or an animal they loved; many unsure of what to do with their days, with the life that they've been given. And, too, I've seen lots of joy since last fall: new babies, weddings, music, people in love, kids blooming, people finding something or someone they thought they had lost. I've seen a lot of beautiful things: small acts of kindness and courage, and I've reached a conclusion. I have come to believe that everyone is, whether they know it or not, seeking God.

Our hearts, our internal GPS, are forever and always wanting to lead us back to that place. I know this to be true; I see it every day. 

Will said this, quoting Philippians, in church last Sunday: "You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God will work you into God's most excellent harmonies."

Amen.