Psalm 29: 3-9
3The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters. 4The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The voice of the Lord…God’s voice…listen…
Most humans don’t listen that well. We like talking, filling our lives with our own thoughts and our own opinions and, at times, our own bloviations. And think what we miss! Is it possible that in our call to wait during this season, we are also being reminded to listen, to listen for God’s voice? You know, when you read the Old Testament, there are lots of places where people are convinced that they hear God’s voice, that they hear God calling to them. And God tells them to go from where they are or follow a star or climb a mountain or cross a sea or listen to a burning bush. So, did God quit talking? Or did we quit listening?
God’s voice comes to us in a myriad of ways—nature, animals, others, our own conscience, our own thoughts (if we listen to them rather than feeling like we need to spit them out into the world before they’re fully formed), and music of all kinds. I often hear God in music. I think it’s because music breaks in and seeps into us. It quiets us. It teaches us to LISTEN, to listen to something other than our own voice. Joan Chittister said that “music is the only sound of heaven we’ve ever been given…music is where the soul goes to put into notes what cannot be said in words.” That’s why music crosses languages. I listen to lots of music for which I can’t understand the words and, yet, I do understand them.
That’s the way we need to learn to listen—not to know what words are being used but to learn to let what we hear penetrate deep into our souls. We will hear God’s voice but it may not be in the words or the language to which we are accustomed. It may be a song we’ve never heard. This is the season when we stop and learn to listen for God’s voice. It’s there. But we have to listen.
So, I found this video. It’s a little different but I think it says a lot. It teaches us to listen…and to sing. It teaches us to respond to the music we hear. (I WOULD turn the sound down a bit if you’re next to your dog.)
Down in the forest We'll sing a chorus One that everybody knows Hands held higher We'll be on fire Singing songs that nobody wrote (Wolf Conservation Center)
But ask the animals, and they will teach you… (Job 12:7)
In this our Season of Waiting, we are learning to listen, to listen to God’s voice. It’s there. It’s everywhere. It surrounds us, goes before us, follows us, and seeps into us. It’s leading us to that for which we are waiting. But we have to stop. And we have to listen. It happens in the silence, the holy silence, the spaces between our words. It happens in OUR silence. See, Creation is full of songs of all types. It never stops. It never sleeps. It is always there. We don’t have to know the words. We just have to listen. When we are silent, we will hear the music around us. And it will become a part of us. And we will recognize it when it does. Because we’ve heard it before. It is God’s gift. It is God’s voice. Shhhhh….You’re supposed to be listening.
I just couldn’t help myself. The gates were open and the hills were beckoning…I can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am. (Maria, from…”The Sound of Music”)
Grace and Peace,