Monday, April 16, 2012


I untangled a wind chime that hangs in my yard.  Seems a silly thing to write about, but it spoke to me.

This wind chime is made up of delicate flat circles, formed from shells.  They hang from strings of fishing line.  There are several strings that hold the shells, making a beautiful tinkling sound as they blow in the breeze.  I bought it on a visit to San Diego, one of my favorite places ever, so when I hear it, it brings sweet memories of ocean breezes and sunshine.

I’ve had it in the house all winter.  It had gotten tangled together after a storm last year and I hung it on a hook in our family room until I had a chance to put it right.  Since warm weather is here, I decided to take it back outside, but did not take the time to untangle the strings.

It still made noise, but it was more of a clanging together, not the peaceful, soothing sound it usually makes.  The tangled strings did not allow the shells to move freely, so the sound was harsher and only moved if a strong breeze came by.

One morning as I sat outside and sipped my coffee, I took note of the tangled wind chime and the irritating noise it made, and I missed the comforting sound of the past.  So, I got up and went to where it hung on my Magnolia tree branch. The strings looked hopelessly tangled and clumped together, impossible to set free again. I determined I would figure out the mess of these strings.

I picked a “clump” of tangled shells and pulled a bit and it only seemed to make it worse, so I lightened my grip and watched how they fell and could see the path the twisting took.  There were 3 or 4 of the lines twisted together and as I carefully held them, and took the weight off the string, I began untwisting them and one string at a time they came lose and fell free.  As I freed one clump, I went to the next, once again, taking the weight off the string, finding the start of the tangle and working my way up to the top of the string.  Finally, all the strings were free and the shells hung unencumbered, each one able to move on its own to the breeze. Once again, the sound was one of beauty and harmony, not a clacking noise. The chimes were able to fulfill their intended purpose.

As I sat back and enjoyed the familiar sound of my treasure, I thought of me.  How I can get to be a tangled mess and there seems to be no way to make sense of me.  I am functioning, but not really how I want to – I am weighted down by life and worries and stuff.   I am as a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians because I may be speaking, but it is without love.   You know I’m here, but you’d rather I wasn’t for the awful noise I am making.   

Thankfully, those that love me take the time to gently pick me up and see where I am stuck.  Helping me to carry the weight of life, they patiently untangle and help me to be free once again allowing my true sound to come through.