The sun was barely peeking over the horizon as I found my way to the lounge on the back deck of my house. A book publisher’s deadline was breathing down hard upon me; and I was determined to take advantage of the quiet, early-morning hours before the busyness of my day drowned out my own thoughts. The air was damp with dew and just a little brisk. “Just what I need,” I said to myself, “a nippy breeze to stimulate my senses and make me fully alert.”
I placed my computer upon my lap and my cup of coffee at my side. Then, I focused. My brain began sorting through ideas and words. My deep concentration was broken by the sound of a bird chirping off in the distance. I smiled at the sweetness of the song. Barely had I refocused my thoughts until another melodic sound wafted from the opposite direction. “Listen to that beauty,” I advised myself. So I did.
My ears became aware of a symphony of sound. Several species of birds joined in song each with its own composition and tune. Off in the distance, the crickets added the timber of their clicks to the concert. At the edge of the pond sat the bullfrog, who lifted his base voice in harmony. I closed my eyes and drank in the masterpiece. So many layers of sound! So many gentle, non-intrusive melodies! So beautiful the often-missed, delicate tones!
I was enraptured. Tears brimmed and spilled upon my cheek. I was soaking in a moment upon which my attention seldom focused. “Who hears the soft sounds?” I asked myself. “Who listens to the gentle voices?” “Who notices the inconspicuous?” Engulfed in the sonata and lost in reflection, the moment was interrupted by a sanitation truck stopping at the driveway for an early-morning pick-up. Barely had it rolled on down the street than a car door slammed as the neighbor headed off to work.
Nature’s music faded to the background. Busy sounds and every-day noises took center stage. My mind returned to the chapter that I was writing. I tuned out all ambient sound. “Perhaps there are some faint ideas seldom heard inside my mind,” I said to myself. And, I began to listen to layers in my heart that are infrequently explored except in an atmosphere where daily life is quiet.
Jesus had a way of causing folks to listen to the sound of their own soul. One day He asked His disciples just who they thought He was. They recounted to Him all the sounds that they were accustomed to hearing. “Some say you are John the Baptist,” one follower replied.
“Others think you are Elijah,” another disciple reported.
“Jeremiah,” shouted a third voice.
“Everyone is sure you are a prophet,” proudly answered a voice from the crowd.
“Quiet! Listen inside,” Jesus encouraged. “Listen to the faint voice of your heart.”
Then Peter heard it – that subtle yet knowable, that quiet yet unmistakable, that inconspicuous but ever so obvious sound – Peter heard it. “You are the Christ. You are the Son of the Living God.”
“Good for you, Peter.” Jesus responded. “God put the truth inside and, when you listened, you heard it.”