Hearing Voices

The persistent, lonely cooing of the mourning dove is one of my favorite sounds. Another sound I love is deep “rolling-bowling balls-across-the-sky” thunder. My day began with hearing the former and is ending with hearing the latter. I don’t hear these sounds every day, so when they do break through the static soundtrack of my daily life, I listen as raptly as if they were a new U2 or Bob Dylan song. Mourning dove calls and thunder aren’t mere sounds, they are voices – just like Bono’s and Bob’s.

I’m not the only one who hears these voices. The writer of Psalm 77 said to God, “The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind.” (v.18) The prophet Isaiah, in writing about the sad separation between God and Israel, said, “We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves.” (Isaiah 59:11)
I heard another voice today – the miserable cry of a cat in heat. The yearning eeriness of her moaning was unnerving. It is a voice I do not like, and it strikes me that it might very well be like the groaning complaining of my voice before God at times.
Our ears were made to hear voices. In doves and thunder and cats, I can only guess at what is being said. Voices (whether human or not) get my attention, but ultimately I need more than voices. I need words. Is it any wonder that Salvation was sent to mankind in the form of “Logos,” the Word? (John 1:1) Blaise Pascal gave us the idea of a “God-shaped” hole in the human heart when he wrote about an “infinite abyss” that could only be filled with “an infinite and immutable object.” I cannot imagine thinking as deeply as Pascal, but in my own humble understanding, I believe that there is also a blank line within the human ear waiting to be filled in with the Word.”

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