We’re all used to seeing churches. We whiz by them every day on the highway, we see them nestled amongst homes on a cozy neighborhood street… Some of them catch our attention with impressive arches and steeples, while others sit snugly in a business park or a quiet country field. Churches are always nearby, dotting the fabric of every town.
There’s a church across the street from where I work. It’s a beautiful, older building covered in a mantle of dark red brick. When the sun hits it just right, the stained glass sings, and on days when the gray clouds boil behind its tall tower, it looks positively castle-like (“Look! A castle!” announced a kindergartener I was with one day 😉 ).
It’s funny, but even though that large church takes up the whole view outside my classroom window – a presence that ought to remind me of God’s presence – I usually go about my day without even glancing at it.
And doesn’t this mirror our own lives? We wander through our long days-after-days, staring at our feet as we walk the hallways at work, getting tangled in the things that frustrate or inconvenience us, without looking UP (or OUT the window!) to these daily reminders that God is with us! I oh-so-often forget Christ’s sacrifice for me, and consequently, the commitment I made to Him. It makes my heart ache – my selfishness, my habitual worry, my short tone with my husband, my lack of patience.
But every day, at exactly 12:00 pm, I’m lovingly tugged back to the foot of the cross. Because that church across the street has chosen to fill the air with worship-breathed melodies. Every day at noon-time, those church bells belt out not one, but two hymns. Every day, without fail. And they play all of the verses. 🙂
And every day, these melodies catch me at the exact same moment: sitting at a small table with three 3rd graders as we begin our reading skills lesson. And the hymns pour in over us. “Be Still My Soul” captures my heart as I quiz the 9-year-olds on sight words. “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us” lilts past our little group as we review the vowel pairs “ea” and “oa.” And some days, the triumphant chorus of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” peals over heads bent in concentration as we build words with the silent-e pattern.
These church bells are loud, and they are insistent. Conversation can go on, sure, but the melodies’ message is clear. They chase us down mid-sentence, mid-breath. What a winsome feeling – and what a welcome interruption.
Every day at 12:00, subconsciously or not…whether I’ve deemed it a “good” day or not… whether I’m resistant to grace that day or not…my heart is turned back to the Lord. And every day I am so, so grateful for the gentle yet firm way He draws me back to Him.
In what ways, big or small, are you reminded of Christ’s presence in your daily life? What are the ways He tugs at your heart in the midst your day?