Striking a Chord

As I was preparing to write this post, the phrase “strike a chord” came to me.  Sometimes we can use an expression all the time, and not think about what it really means.  From my little bit of music theory training, I know a chord to be formed when several different notes (often 3, but not necessarily) are played together.  The notes that make up the chord each have a different sound, yet when played together they make another sound, different from the individual notes yet harmonizing with them.

Thus when a thought or idea “strikes a chord” in us, it is resonating with our own thoughts.  Just like the notes in a chord each have a different sound, so the words used to express the idea may be different than the words we have used to express the same idea, and yet there is a sense of familiarity that the idea somehow belongs with the ideas we ourselves have been pondering.

Extending this allegory a bit, sometimes we may also feel like we are the “discordant” note — challenging others ideas and opinions.  However, if done in the right spirit even this can form a sort of harmony.   The classic chord sounds that many are most familiar with are the common chords found in the major scale, but there are other scales: minor scales, jazz scales and blues scales to name a few.  In some of these scales, chord variations are formed when a somewhat discordant note is added to the chord.  It is when these discordant sounds are added that the listener sits up and takes notice.  In the same way, at times an opinion or idea may be offered that at first glance appears to be a completely different perspective from our own, but the more we listen the more we begin to see that the idea we at first thought very dissimilar to our own is actually also “striking a chord”.

Am I advocating moral relativism?  No, I do believe that truth is absolute, but our understanding of truth is limited, thus when we come together we all grow stronger as we share our differing perspectives.

With these thoughts in mind, my two recent posts on Hebrews 10:25 (“My Journey…” and “… Why We Gather“)  seem to have struck a chord with a few people out there.  Some of the responses (listed below), in turn struck a chord with me, expressing with different words ideas I too have been struggling to express.  For those of you who might want to read more thoughts on this subject, here are some other places to read:

  • A thought-provoking discussion sparked by the above-mentioned posts occurred here on the blog Chaordic Journey by Jeff Rhodes (the post itself is mainly just a quote of my blog, but the comments add many additional thoughts).
  • Also on Chaordic Journey, there were recently two follow up posts on the subject of Organic Church here and here.  I was particularly struck with Jeff’s description of organic church (read the full article):

“The point is that “organic” church is not about tradition or non-tradition, building or no building, big or small, emerging or whatever would be the opposite of that. It is about the life and vitality of Jesus breaking into our reality everyday. It is about God’s will and activity in heaven coming into our world through us and in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. I think maybe the best place in Scripture which captivates the idea of “organic” church is Hebrews 10:23-25.” [All I can say is AMEN!]

4 responses to “Striking a Chord

  1. Wow. Great way to illustrate the conversation of our generation. Harmonic flow. The music we make together.


  2. I did feel a little inspired writing that one. When I started out I was just going to do a little post about the inter-blog dialog concern organic community, Hebrews 10:25, etc — linking to the various posts & comments — but when the phrase “strike a chord” came to me, I found myself really considering what that expression means, and ended up writing something else entirely. I never really fully thought about what that phrase means until today.

  3. A fascinating post Maggie, one that I shall enjoy following into Chaordic Journey and The Good Question. I seem to be following one marvelous link after another on an evening when I was just going to check in with some of my favorite writers.

  4. Beryl,
    thanks for stopping by. I’ve been checking out your blog too. What an interesting life you’ve led! Hopefully, we can chat more later here in the blogisphere.

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