Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NRSV)
Last week, my wife and I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. In one of the galleries, there was a video installation playing on a loop. As we made our way into the next wing, my wife started humming a quick, four-note pattern.
“That’s the music that was playing over that video,” she said, and hummed it again.
“Uh…no it wasn’t,” I insisted. “It sounded like this.” And I sang a slow, descending three notes.
We both looked at each other confused.
“Now we have to go back,” she said. And we did.
The moment we opened the doors to the gallery, I heard those quick four notes she had hummed.
“You were right,” I admitted.
But even as I said it, underneath them came my slow, descending motif. We were both right. Both lines had been playing over and over, and each of us had heard only one of them.
Another example of the way the Spirit is made manifest, the way beloved community is built.
Not by choosing one line to sing in unison, but by learning each of our parts well enough to find the rich harmonies between them.
Not by convincing others to hear God’s voice the way I hear it. But by encouraging everyone to listen deeply to what the Spirit may be saying only to them.
Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing your grace.