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Kentucky Color: My Christmas Story

By Billy Joe Fudge

It is once again Christmas. It is the day and the season when we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Jesus. Jesus was born of woman, just as every other human being after the creation of Adam and Eve but yet, He was different somehow.

Adam and Eve's children proved to be imperfect as did all others born after them. Many of them learned to follow after God, to seek His righteousness and exercise their desire to attain the perfection that God desired for them. However, much like a wind chime blowing and tinkling in the wind, they just could never seem to make the kind of music that God desired for them. I had a hard time understanding how it was that knew they could make beautiful music by being in harmony with God but their efforts always devolved into a "blowing and tinkling in the wind"! That is, I had a hard time understanding it until an experience Libby and I had at the Atlanta Market.

The Atlanta Market is a place where thousands of manufacturers from all over the world come to display and market their products to retailers. As an example, there could easily be two or three dozen manufacturers of all shapes, sizes, colors and designs of wind chimes. Each manufacturer was hoping that their product would catch the buyer's eye in some way. Over the years we saw many companies come back year after year and some would not. It seemed that after several years, if you had seen one wind chime you had seen them all. But then, there was one that was different!

I don't remember but a couple of particulars about the discovery except that there was a bearded, long haired, disheveled and not particularly comely in appearance, middle-aged man, manning the store, so to speak. In addition, the store was filled with several different styles and sizes of wind chimes which included the largest ones that I had ever seen in Atlanta. Needless to say they were more expensive than the smaller styles but they were much, much more expensive than one might expect because of the difference in size of the chimes. After developing a conversation with him we found that his demeanor was much more comely than his appearance. I finally got around to asking why the price on the large chimes was so excessive compared to the smaller ones.

He said that they were much more expensive, not just because of their size, but because they had perfect pitch. Now I'm not a musician and don't play one on TV but I knew just enough to stick my foot in my mouth, by asking, "why does a wind chime need perfect pitch?" He just smiled and said, "Brother, what's your favorite song?" I sort of blurted out Amazing Grace, while I was wondering why he wanted to know! Then he picked up a little hammer and the rest is history.

He began to strike those chimes and "the most angelic and amazing rendition of Amazing Grace" began to ring out across the four or five thousand square feet of that space. I can only say that it was like each note was a thousand words of the most wonderful love letter ever written. I had never heard anything like it before nor have I heard anything like it since. I never wanted it to end. I looked around and maybe a dozen awe struck people had gathered around. I honestly believe that heaven opened up before us for that few minutes he played. I cannot even remember breathing. I was so disappointed when he stopped playing and so thankful for the experience.

Now I understand why Jesus was born some two thousand years ago. He came so that our lives here on Earth could be more than a "blowing and tinkling in the wind"! He came so that through Him we Believers could have "perfect pitch" and that through us, the world full of lost souls just "blowing and tinkling" could hear "the most angelic and amazing rendition of Amazing Grace" ring out in their hearts!

Merry Christmas to all and don't ever forget, the Reason for the Season!

This story was posted on 2022-12-25 13:55:50
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