My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Psalm 57:7 (NIV)
One day in December, I was sitting in my office and all of a sudden heard church bells chiming the hour. When the bells were done counting out the time, hymns began to play. When it happened again the next hour, I raced outside to track the sound of the bells. It sounded so real that I was convinced one of the two churches next door to my office must have installed bells in their steeple. Upon investigation, I realized that the sound came from the Baptist church to our east. Instead of emanating from its steeple, the music came from four loudspeakers on top of one of their buildings. Though, I was a little disappointed to learn it was a recording, I still enjoyed the concert. Since that time, the bells have played on the hour from eight in the morning until six at night. It is a wonderful way to keep track of the day. It also reminds me how fleeting that time is and what my real focus should be. In the midst of my work, the bells call me to take a few minutes and pray or thank God for the good He is doing or will do in my life and that of those I love. Today, I went to the dedication of the bells and learned the whole story behind them. A similar system of recorded bells rang from the steeple of the church for almost fifty years. Then, pigeons got into the steeple and wrecked the speakers with their feathers and droppings. The bells were silent for over a decade before one man in the church decided to do something about it. He went to his Sunday School class and said, “We must get the bells ringing again.” His fellow students and teacher took it on as a class project. They recognized that the music was more than a time keeper or entertainment, but would be a beacon for our community. It wasn’t easy, but they raised the money needed to buy a new system and have it installed. Then, they had to convince their church leadership of the need and ask our mayor and city council to allow the bells. When they reached their goals and the system was ordered, the wife of one of their class members died. He donated the entire sum of money needed for the bells in her memory. The class gladly accepted the gift and the funds that they raised went into a benevolence fund to help those in need. How cool is that? One man saw a need, convinced a handful of others to join them and the effort grew. Now, not only do people like me get that hourly reminder of God’s love and mercy, but there is money set aside to impact the lives of people in our area. When you think you are only one and cannot make a difference, keep on trying. God can use even one to impact an entire community.