Posted by: kathryngraves | March 9, 2017

Do You Hear What I Hear?

What sounds did you hear as you awoke this morning? Do you even remember? I woke to the sound of the shower water because my husband got up before I did. As I lay in bed coming fully awake, I realized some birds were twittering outside. Then the refrigerator ice maker dropped a batch of new ice into the dispenser.

Just like we need to surround ourselves with visual beauty, it is important to pay attention to what we hear. Have you ever watched a movie and found your palms sweating and heart racing because you knew something bad was about to happen–simply from the music soundtrack? Music and/or sound effects are subtle (or not so subtle!) enhancers of the visual. We become immersed in what we both see and hear, which is why theaters have surround sound, ever larger screens, and 3-D glasses.

I am an avid fiction reader. I just started reading a book for which there is a companion playlist on-line. This author knows the power of music!

Our lives are like movies, or books with playlists, in this regard. Music can be the mood-setter or the worship-enhancer. While I was in Colorado, I attended church with Carson the first Sunday. This church has a professional-quality choir that processed up and down the aisles on their way to the choir loft, singing as they walked. Later in the service, they sang a special that drew the congregation to their feet to clap and sway along.

The next week I visited a church where my husband knows the pastor. The music this time was more casual and communal. The congregation sang along on all the songs, sometimes standing, clapping, or raising their hands. I sang along with most of these songs, rather than only listening.

Last Sunday, I was back home in my church. As a choir member, I know all the songs by heart and am comfortable in my surroundings. Worship poured from my heart and out through my mouth.

Psalm 42:8 says, “…in the night His song shall be with me–a prayer to the God of my life.” Where does this song come from? How can we hear it? I think any song that is composed from Scripture set to music is God’s song. If we play this kind of song in the evening, it will stay with us all night. Our church choir practices on  Wednesday nights. The songs we learn become part of me, filling my mind at random moments, welling up from my heart and back to God. This is a form of prayer.

You might not sing in a choir, but you listen to music. Making at least some of that music Scripture songs can lift your heart toward God. What’s on your playlist? What do the words say? Do you ever listen to instrumental or classical music? What emotions do you feel as you listen to your chosen songs?

I also think God’s song is the sounds of nature.  Creation voices its praise when animals speak and waters trickle, rush and roar, and wind rustles through tree leaves. It’s important for us to spend some time outdoors each day, if possible. When we do, let’s pay close attention to sounds we hear. Even in the city, we can hear nature if we tune our ears to its channel.

What do you hear, both with your ears and in your heart? Is it God’s song? What is one thing you can do to change what you hear today?

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Photo by Phil Graves

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