Monday, February 2, 2015

One Calling, One Note

Photo Courtesy
While attending Bible college, I was invited to play in the school's handbell choir. What a unique experience.

I was not a music major. I didn't (and sadly still don't) play the piano. 

I could read music, play the flute, and had a willing heart. 

Someone had donated a magnificent full set of bells to the college. The handles were strong, sturdy, and a rich black. The bells, a shimmering gold reflecting every speck of light. We had special white gloves and could only touch the bells when wearing the gloves. 

Playing a bell ended up being an interesting process. The flapper did its job, plunk and a crimson tone rang. Each of us had to be careful not to tip our bell until the proper time. But when the music score indicated our note we arced our arm, flicked our wrist, and held the bell out to sound. To make the sound stop we pulled our arm back and touched the bell just beneath our shoulder.

No one person played the melody or harmony. This is the part that seemed the most difficult to me. 

I was assigned these four bell notes in the middle: D, Eb (read E flat), E, and F.

The conductor gave us music. Each person then circled every time one of their bells played, whether in the melody or harmony. I circled all the D, Eb, E, and F notes. Sometimes two played at one time, one in the melody and one in the harmony. You may ask, what would happen if three or four of the bells played at one time. It didn't happen often, but when it did, the person to my right or left would play the bell for me and I would do the same for them.

As I practiced my own notes, there seemed no rhyme or reason to the sound. Almost like a semi-monotone concoction of weird sounds jumbled together. 

But when the whole bell choir played together, the sound could the music used for a bold sunset, a serene sunrise, an angelic choir, a seaside, a thriving city, a farm, or lakeshore. Bombastic. Sweet. Melodic. Inspirational. Rich. Breath-taking.Tearful. Memorable. 

The Bible says, our job, as Christians, can be expressed as part of a body: the foot, or the hand, the finger, or the eye. We have one job. Our work may not always make sense to us because we only see what we do. We may see confusion and chaos. But when God looks at the whole earth, each person doing their own job in one massive production, He hears and sees the magnificence of His family. The whole is a sweet savor to Him. 

And one day--we will see and hear.

So while your Christ given job this year may seem dull, boring, taxing, frustrating, hopeless, unclear, lost, etc, the result will be one that is rewarding, joyful, tender, supportive, calming, productive, enlightening, exalting, and so much more.

Rise up and play your one note.

Don't forget to comment. I love to chat with you. 


Susan Johnson said...

I played in a handbell choir for a number of years. We don't have one any more at my church and I miss it. Isn't it wonderful what happens when each person plays their own little part all together. Beautiful.

Mary Vee Writer said...

An amazing experience. It's like no other instrument I know and is such a great example of every part of the body of Christ.

Jill Kemerer said...

I love this, Mary!! I'm not musically inclined unless you count singing in the car! But I appreciate the musicians at our church. I often tear up! I think my one note is encouraging. I hope it is anyway!

Karen Barnett said...

Beautiful, Mary! I played handbells, too. It was always a thrill to hear everyone play together. It's the perfect analogy. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think you're right, Jill. I remember the day we spent at your house just chatting. You certainly encouraged me.
BTW love your new website and all the services you offer.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks, Karen.
Didn't you just love doing the trills (shaking the bells). Or the full choir striking at once? Wow. Dynamic.
Sure appreciated seeing you here today.