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Clanging Cymbals

I was in line at the store today, when a couple came up behind me and began to loudly tout their thoughts and ideas about everything that’s wrong with our world today. Loud enough for all of us to hear. And they just kept going. And not stopping. And so on and so forth. I wanted to press the mute button! The line could not move fast enough.

But here’s the thing, I actually agreed with most everything they were saying. So, why did I find myself lighting up with internal annoyance? Why did I wish they would just stop talking? Or at least keep their thoughts to themselves? I continued on with my day, amused, intrigued and slightly perplexed.

Then it hit me…clanging cymbals! They sounded like clanging cymbals! Think wind-up circus monkey cymbals. Kids playing in the kitchen, cymbals.

It was page thirteen of Paul’s letter to the believers at Corinth:

“Don’t be clanging cymbals.”

“Let your words carry agape-love.”

That was it. So, what’s your invitation, Lord? He was obviously up to something. And it had much more to do with me and my voice, than the clanging cymbals in line behind me.

Moments later I heard it, that unmistakable and piercing sound. It was the cry of one of our neighborhood Red-tailed Hawks, reverberating through the atmosphere. It stopped me in my tracks. That’s the invitation. To carry the majestic cry of love.

I don’t know about you, but oftentimes I find myself opting to stay silent. There’s so much division and every topic feels like a minefield these days. But silence can also be deafening.

What if there is another way? What if there are options other than clanging cymbal or deafening silence? What would it be like to let agape infuse my voice? What does that even mean?

Lord knows there are as many answers to that question as there are people and conversations to be had. But I find myself grateful to begin exploring what it sounds like to carry the tone of agape.


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