Oh, how beautiful, how lovely they sound,
For harps usher their hearers to heaven:
Their soothing tones bring peace and joy around.
Heaven’s gifts through them are sweetly given.
Expelling sorrow while expressing joy,
Ministering comfort to weary hearts,
Unraveling life’s stress is their employ,
Soothing their audience with their healing arts.
Infinitely welcome in company,
Christ’s ambassadors, instruments long sought
When they’re beautifully in harmony.
Of course, there may be times when they forgot
Right well their aim. But when they with God align,
Loved well, they can start working as they ought:
Designed to tell a story that’s divine.
October 19, 2016
Years ago, before a well-known person poked some well-deserved fun at church ladies, I would like to think that said church folk did great good in the world. Now, I am afraid that we are often negligent in our duties to offer Jesus’ kindness and goodness to outsiders or even to our own much of the time. Oh, if only we could be more like the harp! I know that as soon as I take a harp anywhere, without my even saying a word, the hearts and minds of onlookers immediately turn to heaven and eternity.
When church ladies tune themselves constantly to Jesus, we can share the beauty of heaven with the world. What most people don’t know is that harps require almost as much daily diligent tuning as church people. If even one string is out of tune, it throws all the others off. The difference between a string that is fully in tune and one that is not may be as little as a one-degree turn on a 360 degree turn radius. These adjustments can be endless.
I love my three harps. But they are much more work than I ever imagined. Just keeping them tuned is a daily chore. A chore that I often neglect, especially when I fall out of practice. In order to gain proper proficiency on the harp, even thirty minutes of daily practice on the folk harp often renders the instrument ready for the repair shop once yearly in order to have the neck, the curving top segment where the tuning pins go through, rebuilt. Honestly, I have never been committed enough to go through this yet, but I hope that will change.
I like to tell people that like many Christians, harps look good from a distance. But we are kind of difficult to work with at times up close and personal. On the other hand, we have the opportunity to point the hearts around us to Jesus and eternity. That is such a beautiful privilege.