Peace That Passeth Understanding
There it was in the middle of a busy morning: a hint of the Divine. I was readying myself for a fun vacation day in St. Augustine, Florida, thinking about the sights I would soon see, itching to play tourist. Then I heard the distant church bells. I stopped whatever mundane task I was enacting and simply *listened*. And later that morning, as I stood just outside the walls of a massive seventeenth century Spanish fortress, I heard them again.
There is something innately beautiful about church bells. It reminds us we are part of the family of believers; we feel drawn, and we experience feelings of closure and peace. As a Protestant Christian who comes from a long line of men and women who shared my faith, I was in awe of the quiet delight that washed over my soul as I paused to listen. Then I remembered what a beautiful sound these church bells must have been in early America, a tangible symbol of religious freedom. In Europe secret church meetings meant that outward signs of faith were utterly forbidden. In America churches boldly proclaimed their message.
I realize how lucky I am --- and my ancestors were --- that America welcomed Protestant Christians who had no haven in their own continent. I hope that whenever I take my next trip, I will have the privilege of hearing church bells once more. There is no better time for peace and reflection than during the hectic busyness of travel.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved