March 2021 marks four years from the time our friends Chad and Stacey drove us to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. We were so excited to finally be on our way to Germany for Spring Break. Our sweet friends were excited for us but I was surprised when Stacey expressed her wish to join us so that she could hear the wonderful choirs perform in the beautiful cathedrals of Europe! My surprise was real – it would not have occurred to me to schedule a single choir performance into our itinerary. (Stacey is my only truly musical friend – she has a degree in something like soprano performance… who does that?… of course I love her for it!). But seriously – I do love sit and hear choirs perform. Even, or perhaps especially, kindergarten choirs. However – with limited days in Germany why would I do that?
Indeed, the highlight of my experience in Germany was the evening when we crossed over the Austrian border and climbed into the Alps to explore some ancient castle ruins. We were warmed from the hike and able to enjoy the breeze as we looked out over the incredible vistas once enjoyed by the inhabitants of this ancient, forsaken spot. I loved touching the rocks and imaging the people who once lived there. Even more, I loved standing on the edge of the mountain feeling the wind on my face and expressing a prayer of gratitude for the beauty of the world in which we live!!
And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my abeloved Son: hear him. (Luke 9:35). The voice didn’t come out of the cloud in Austria – (that didn’t actually happen to me). Obviously this voice was heard by those who witnessed the baptism of Jesus Christ. The command to Hear Him, however, applies to all of us and it is up to all of us to figure out how to do this. Standing on an ancient stone wall in the windy Austrian Alps is a perfect way to illustrate how I best “Hear Him.” I feel that I can Hear Him when I hike to the top of Siouxon Peak in Washington with a group of young women – most of whom have never exerted such an effort for such a reward. I Hear Him anytime I am near mountain streams and waterfalls. I Hear Him when I am outside gardening in the early summer mornings. God’s creations give me the opportunity to more easily Hear Him.
I Hear Him in beautiful music also. Music, however, is not where I go to seek Him. I appreciate the spirit that it brings and I have had some nice experiences with inspirational music. There is no comparison with the closeness to God that I feel when I am in nature. His creations testify to me of his existence. Mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts… they are all so powerful.
Interesting how we are all commanded to Hear Him but we all have individual ways in which works best. It actually makes perfect sense if you believe that God is a loving Father. He created us as individuals and will speak to us as individuals. If we care to hear we should learn what works best for us. I hear best in nature and sacred places; when with family, dear friends and new babies; hearing inspirational music – particularly piano music, and when I am alone in the quiet morning hours.
Later – Then this happened. I wrote this post last week. The day after writing we were having a very gray day and those have a tendency to make me drag! I prayed to feel better so that I could accomplish my day’s work. Parting the curtains I stared out the window… blah… and just then the sun burst between two clouds giving me a quick burst of light and heat. Short-lived but light is always good.
“Well,” I thought, “That was nice!”
Still feeling rather blah I recalled this blog post in the works. I turned on some piano music and was immediately calmed. I then looked over at some artwork and felt re-energized.
What do you know? Music and artwork… I was restored and lifted.
As the sixth song began I had to shut it off. Ahhh… peace and quiet…
It was a good exercise. This has been good to think about. It is always worth the effort to Hear Him. What if everyone in your house took time to consider how they could best Hear Him – and then took the necessary steps to make it happen? What if everyone in your neighborhood? In your community? In your state? In our nation?
He is waiting…