The Sense of Hearing (January 19, 2012)

…Opening To…

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

…Listening In…

Let me hear what the LORD God says, because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones. Don’t let them return to foolish ways. (Psalm 85:8; context)

…Filling Up…

Like the sense of sight, hearing can be tricky. As a sense, hearing consists of vibrations hitting special parts of our ears and then our brains organizing those vibrations into intelligible sounds. Now, I suppose I could have started each day this week with a scientific explanation of the sense, but since I’m neither a scientist nor a Time Lord (Doctor Who reference – check it out, seriously), we’ll just have to make do. Anyway, the sense of hearing is all about making intelligent guesses about the vibrations bombarding us. How does this jive with our exploration of God’s presence? I’m glad you asked.

“No one has ever seen God,” claims the prologue to the Gospel according to John. But throughout the Bible, people certainly hear God. There are three kinds of people who hear God. First, there are the prophet-type people who are so in tune with God that they know God’s words as their own, like Isaiah or Amos. Second, there are the people who would never have expected to hear God because of some perceived impediment, like Moses or Jeremiah. Third, there are the people who are going against God and need a shout (such as the kind your dad gave when you wandered into the street), like Saul who becomes Paul.

In each case, these folks’ hearing of God’s message goes much beyond mere receiving of the verbal stimuli. The sense of hearing translates into the act of listening, which is another way of saying they obeyed. You’ll notice if you look in a mirror that God designed us humans a certain way where hearing is involved. It’s easy to close our eyes, but difficult to close our ears. We have to ram our hands over our ears and press as hard as we can to stop the sound from coming in. Notice also that if you turn around so your eyes are looking the other way, your ears haven’t changed place. God designed us this way on purpose, I think. God is still continuing to speak creation into being, and God has given us the biological reminder that we can always remain open to hearing and then listening to God’s voice.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you have given me the sense of hearing to experience more fully the ways you communicate your creation into being. Help me to listen and obey you when I hear your voice guiding my life. In Jesus Christ’s name pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, ready to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell your presence, that I may be more aware of your movement in my life.

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