Sometimes the whole world seems to speak a foreign language that I do not understand.
Times when the whole world makes no sense at all.
Weapons are targeted.
Hearts are shut down.
Voices are raised.
Meaning is lost.
Darkness seems to be in control of every light switch.
I wander like a stranger in a strange land full of wandering strangers also lost in the senseless cacophony of struggles for supremacy and domination.
At those times all of the world’s words are closed to me.
There is no dictionary. No definition to explain it all. No meaning to anything. Just noise, noise, noise.
But no sounds that I want to hear.
All around me divisions are multiplying everywhere.
And everyone seems certain that God is fighting on their side.
Self-centeredly assured that God is in their front rank with a holy bayonet bared, God charging ahead to spare no one on the “other side” of the political, racial, idealogical, religious, social, cultural, sexual, economic—any—divide.
Forgetting, all the while, that every one of those divides is man-made, not heaven-sent.
Sometimes I imagine I am standing in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago in the days before Pentecost, understanding nothing at all.
I am surrounded by Parthians, Medes and Elamites, by residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and visitors from Rome.
But … then something happens.
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus plays a note.
Just one note.
A note of such wonder that I don’t need to understand every word, or any word, that is being spoken.
Everything is being said—everything that truly matters—by the melody of that one note.
The borderless Holy Spirit opening all of our ears, all of our minds, all of our hearts with one true note so wondrous that it can somehow play a one-note melody inside us.
If we’d only listen.
If we’d only sing along.
Dividing every division until there is nothing left at all.
Nothing left at all but us—the harmony that God has been praying would one day fill the world.
But too often the hardest thing for a human being to do is open their heart and feel what God feels toward the people of this world.
Open their mouth and speak what God would say to the people of this world.
Open their mind and understand what God understands about the people of this world.
I’ve kept my own heart closed, refused God my tongue, and shut my mind often enough to know that’s true. And so I also know this:
A note of beauty needs no explanation, no dictionary, no interpreter.
It only needs us to understand and accept that God has planted the seed of that one-true note in all of us.
The world would make total sense—the sound of one heart beating—if we’d only let it.