When you least expect it...

                                                                      The Schermerhorn Symphony Hall

                                                                      The Schermerhorn Symphony Hall

Yes, when you least expect it, that's when God sometimes does His best work. Our resistance isn't up because of the surprise factor. So here's what happened to me when I least expected it.

For a long time, God has been helping me uncover so much of my heart that lay buried under years of shame, neglect, and disconnection. My connection to beauty has been one of those buried places. Often I get discouraged at how long the process is taking. Sometimes it's me who is resistant to the next step. So God just surprised me last Friday at the symphony hall downtown. 

Heidi and I had gotten tickets for a morning concert of Rachmaninoff's Symphony #2. We both love this piece, but it's the third movement that holds a special charm for us. Heidi describes it as a melody you wish would go on forever and ever. 

As the lights went out, we settled back simply to listen and enjoy. Little did I know what was about to happen. The first and second movements have their own stunning melodies and harmonies, but with the opening bars of that third movement, something shifted in me. The beauty of the melody wasn't just inviting or enthralling. It was unsettling, even painful. Beauty felt like a fire that was pulling me in. I feared that I would be burned and then consumed, yet I longed to be consumed at the same time. The tears began to come along with sobs I had to restrain in that dignified setting. It was all I could do to hold myself together through the piece.

As Heidi and I left the hall and entered the normal bustling life downtown, I realized that God had snuck up on me, revealing Himself as the Beauty behind the beauty. The door into the sacred vault of ultimate Beauty had opened just a moment, singeing my heart and then searing it with its flaming heat, only to close again. My heart was left in the ashes, pulsating like a glowing cinder in a dying fire.

Why does God give us these moments? To open up our hearts to a deeper longing for Him and then to give us a good hope for that day when the longing will be satisfied by the Beautiful One, God Himself. 

So next time you go to a concert or watch a sunset or climb a mountain, watch out. You never know what may happen.