April 6: Multiplicity of echoes
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I imagine the psalmist crying out from a crevasse, wide and deep, seemingly without bottom. Standing precariously on a ledge, the psalmist’s voice goes out – loud and desperate – and returns in a multiplicity of echoes, having bounced off the surrounding walls.
Sometimes I find myself surrounded by walls I’ve built up – constructed of my own efforts to haul myself out of the depths. Sometimes, I start to panic, and I cry out, “Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy!” And often all I get back is the echo of my own voice. It echoes in my head endlessly, and I find myself frowning, left with a resounding nothing.
When our voice is too loud, we can set off the echo of our own desperation in our souls, and our worries can drown out the voice of God’s Spirit whispering inside of us. God can hear our loudest cry and also our softest whisper. Often, though, we can’t hear God back, because we’re busy talking over the Spirit. We must have a posture of quietness, of stillness and of peace in order to hear the voice of God.
The quietness, stillness and peace can be painful. We encounter the deepest and most disturbing parts of ourselves in those moments. If we wait, though – if with our whole being we wait – we shall hear the Lord’s soft and purposeful whisper, which never left us at all.