What’s that sound?


Last week in my art therapy group at the Virginia Correction Center for Women we used the visual image and symbolism of bells –  an appropriate image for the Christmas season, I thought.  We considered the purposes of different kinds of bells, their tones and volume in communicating, and how various groups might recognize the quality of each specific sound.  The bell symbol helped us to focus on the sound of our own voices and what we want to draw attention to by our tone when we are communicating.   It was a good discussion for these ladies who often feel like they have no voice.  This topic was a springboard for working in our art journals – drawing and writing about our voices.

We’ve been able to share like this as we create art at the prison each week.  Art and music therapy are well known agents of healing and stress management.  Studies are showing the benefits help in resolving grief, trauma, loss, and even in the prevention of dementia. In the field of Corrections, it is thought to help reduce recidivism.  I am so thankful to be able to share my art and coaching skills with over 30 ladies at VCCW each week.  They tell me they love being in this program and see how it’s really making a difference for them.  Have you thought about the sound of your voice?

The First Time

My husband, John, and I often spend our early mornings talking over coffee. We talk about the things we value, such as our family, our ministries, and our future goals.  Of course, encouraging anyone we can to learn to recognize God’s voice is one of the most exciting and beneficial topics we could ever share.   There are so many ways to hear God’s voice, and so many good things come into being when we act upon what He says to us.    I think you’ll like what John has to say on this subject taken from Psalm 29:9.

The First Time  ~  by John Maher

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth….    Psalm 29:9

John O’Donohue writes that home is the place where you see things for the first time (Eternal Echoes: Critical Reflections on Our Need to Belong, pg 31).  I would add a similar observation: Home is where you hear things for the first time. In one very real sense, following Jesus is putting yourself into the position to see and hear things for the first time.   In Psalm 29:9 cited above we can see the results of the sound of the voice of the Lord.  Hearing His voice can cause new things to be born.  New ministries, new forgiveness, new courage, new relationships, new power, etc., et. may be born at the sound of the voice of the Lord.  It is the birth of these new aspects of the kingdom of God that may be the flow of living water coming from the spirit of believers as Jesus described (John 7:39).  The sound of many waters (Revelation 14:2) may very well be the gathering of the church in a way that many new ministries and empowerments of the Spirit are born.

All of this means putting ourselves into the position to see and hear things from the Spirit of God.  Many of those things we will be hearing for the first time.

One more very transforming dynamic is at play when we put ourselves into the position to see and hear things for the first time.  We know we are where we belong.  Just as it is in our physical lives where we see and hear things for the first time as infants in our home where we belong,  so in our spiritual lives every time we see and hear things of Jesus and His great mercy we know we are home where we belong.

Take a moment and put yourself into the position to see and hear from the Spirit of God.  Consider what new things you might see and hear.  Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.