Sunday, 28 October 2012

Listening to God

 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
  It has been a busy but productive half term. I spent the first few days working and then, as is our custom, went away to the Lake District for two nights at the end of the week. We were lucky in that it didn't rain while we were away; although it was cold, it was also crisp and sunny with the sort of deep blue sky that reflects in the water and brings out the sheer beauty of the autumn reds, greens and golds. We spent a good part of yesterday walking and just drinking in the peace and glory of the scenery.

It is hardly surprising that poets and writers have so often seen in the landscape evidence of something or someone above and beyond us. When we look at the majesty of a mountain, or  wonder at the intricate beauty of leaves and flower,  or listen to running water, it calls forth responses such as awe, joy and peace, all things associated with God's presence.   We usually observe nature in silence, and yet the psalmist describes how in reality the silence of nature is a form of speech. Silence can pour forth speech and wisdom. Psalm 19 tells us how the silence of nature  is a universal language, one that can be listened to and understood by all peoples and ages:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

In contrast to yesterday, today is grey and rainy, the sort of murky weather that hardly lifts the spirits. But  knowledge of God lies within, the beauty of nature simply speaks to us of a force we already know and  carry around with us always. We lift our eyes to the hills, but the voice that speaks to us comes from within because we are also made to be a part of all that glorifies God and proclaims his message.

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