Surely everyone can relate to that strange feeling you get at the sound or mention of a particular occurrence. You know, like the one people get when they hear (cover your ears, I’m about to say it) the eerie screech of fingernails across a chalkboard. Or for me, I can’t stand to hear of someone or see someone licking a popsicle stick (I think that comes from the gag test that my evil doctor did as a child). Hold on a minute––I need to get that image out of my head before I need therapy (err, more therapy). Well, two nights ago while sitting here tapping Friday’s post into the keyboard, I heard an all too familiar sound that made me cringe. It was the screeching of wheels followed by the distinct sound that two heavy pieces of metal make when they collide. It was a car accident near my house. There are two reasons why I hate that sound.
For the first, I remember lying in bed awake one night as a child, maybe about 10 or 11 years old. My bedroom window faced a main road about 30 yards away. It was a straight stretch of a slightly slanted road with a gentle curve about a quarter of a mile downhill so traffic moved pretty fast on it. And I could hear every car go by almost as if I’d pitched a tent alongside the road. As I lay there pontificating the finer aspects of life (no, no I was 10 or 11 silly––I was either innocently thinking of some chick in my class or about playing Asteroids on the Atari game system). . . Anyway, as I lay there staring at the ceiling in an attempt to nod off to sleep, I heard the awful drawn-out, as if it were occurring in slow-motion, sound of squealing tires followed by a loud crash. Of course I jumped out of bed to see what had happened. As we looked down the road, the lights of slowing traffic revealed the silhouette of a car that didn’t quite navigate the curve in the road and ended up hugging a utility pole. That sound has made me squeamish ever since.
The other is my own encounter with a moving vehicle. It was the first vehicle I ever owned (ok, the bank owned it but I didn’t get help from my folks). It is still the favorite of any automobiles I’ve owned since. It was a fire engine red, mid-size 4X4 with an extended cab. I was casually driving through a Walmart parking lot when another vehicle struck the passenger side fender just before my rear tire. This resulted in the truck rolling onto its top. Thankfully, I had my seat belt on and was not seriously injured (my truck was another story––it was totaled). But it took years for me not to rehearse that in my mind with precise detail every time I had a close call or even saw another accident.
What sound or the mention of something gives you the heebie-jeebies or a funny feeling?
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a sound that we associated with Christ entering our hearts so that every time we’d hear it, God’s love would resonate through our bodies? How about when you hear a carpenter hammering in nails. . . or the flow of water. . . or when you see someone with an ear or body piercing. . . or when you hear the word “finish.” Maybe there’s even a sound you can identify with that occurred in worship that day like a song playing in the background, the voice of your pastor, or the sound of your own voice as you recited the Prayer of Salvation. Or maybe you are just like me, and need to mute yourself long enough to hear God’s “still small voice.” Wouldn’t this be a constant reminder that would make living for Christ a little easier?