The stack of dishes on the table near my elbow made a sound that couldn’t be ignored. I was up late and alone, enjoying a few minutes of reading in a quiet, still room.

Until then.

The sound grew louder. The raggity, Dr. Seuss-like tower of cups and saucers – still sitting where I’d left them the week before – began to shake. Any moment, the rattling threatened to bring the dishes crashing down. They were dishes delivered by my mother-in-law on her visit, dishes that once belonged to a long-deceased family member, someone I’d never met. And now, I watched as they rattled and shook.

Seconds ticked by and the shaking slowed to a stop. Once again, the dishes were lifeless and still. I said to myself, “Well. How ‘bout that?”

The following evening, it happened again. Was there a ghost at 4131 Seminary Place?

No, of course not. Ghosts don’t exist.

But resonance does.

Resonance is what happens when one object vibrates at a frequency that matches the natural frequency of another. This is what makes musical instruments work and gives some of us beautiful voices. The tower of cups and saucers had “hummed” to the vibrations of the late-night train that rumbled by the campus, about a quarter mile away.

Humming in rhythm with something nearby — It reminds me of line from my favorite hymn: “Tune my heart to sing thy praise.” When God’s Spirit moves across the empty chambers of the human heart, it too will sing.

The human heart responds to its Maker when God walks by.