“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” —Romans 1:20, NLT
Are you counting the days—or the ceiling tiles?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost track of my sheltered-in reality. Many of us in North Carolina followed our governor’s stay-at-home order and hunkered down in mid-March. As the states begin to open, I hope you’re reading this from the comfort of a lounge chair positioned alongside one of our nation’s beautiful shorelines or nestled beside a mountain stream somewhere.
Throughout this pandemic, many have sensed God doing something new across the earth.
Perhaps you’ve asked Him to help you see what he desires to teach you through this experience. Have you stopped to listen for his reply?
My niece’s husband is an elementary school music teacher. During his time away from the classroom, he’s uploaded online video challenges each day for his students. Early on, he challenged them to make a sound map of the sounds they hear in nature. I didn’t create a map, but I did list the sounds I heard as I took a morning walk. This listening exercise calmed my spirit.
I challenge you to walk a mile in my shoes.
If you’re unable to walk a mile, walk a half, a quarter, or simply sit outside and LISTEN. Be sure to take along a note pad to record the sounds you hear, and DO NOT take your cell phone.
As I left the house, the first sound I recorded was the garage door closing behind me. Next, I heard birds chirping. I noticed the sound of my shoes on the pavement, the wind blowing past my ears, an electric saw and hammering on the house being built up the street, a leaf scraping across the road, the sound of heavy breathing—MINE, katydids singing, an airplane overhead, and neighbors voices as we greeted one another in passing. And last but not least, I listened for what God whispered in my spirit.
I’ve read that since the coronavirus lockdown, the canals in Venice are running clear for the first time in sixty years. With no boats to stir up the sediment, fish have been spotted, swans have returned, and the dolphins are back—a beautiful silver lining amid very trying times.
All nature groans to be realigned with its Creator (Romans 8:22).
Do we? In Scripture, David was known to be a man after God’s own heart. Let’s chase after His heart too. Outside of reading God’s Word, an excellent way to begin is to listen to Him through nature.
These can be anxious times, but the more we listen, the more excited we’ll become concerning all God has on the horizon for His kingdom here on earth.
Yes! All heaven and nature sing. Can you hear it?
Now it’s your turn.
Step outdoors. STOP and LISTEN! What is one sound you hear that you would have missed had you not been intentional? Please share your experience in the comments below.
I always welcome your comments.
About the Author
is a third-generation artist, inspirational writer, Jesus follower, rainbow chaser, incurable night owl, java junkie, and an avid iphone photographer who seeks to make the ordinary extraordinary.
She is published in two anthologies: Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts and Reasons to Smile, Celebrating People Living with Down Syndrome, and has written a monthly inspirational page for Thrive, a regional magazine, since 2013.
Starr is a member of Serious Writers, Word Weavers International, and American Christian Fiction Writers.She hones her craft through writing devotions and attending national writer’s conferences.
Her debut novel, For the Love of Emma, releases January 1, 2021, and she is pursuing the publication of her children’s picture book, Gracie, the Bird with Two Left Wings. Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency is her agent.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Michael, of fifty years. They have two daughters and a son-in-love. She is active in her church and has led a women’s Bible study in her community since 2003.
She invites you to connect with her on social media or by subscribing to her Bringing Life into Focus blog for updates.
eBook: January 1, 2021
Paperback: Mid-December 2020
For the Love of Emma
When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother and a handsome young soldier. Determined to read between the lines, she unearths long buried secrets and vows to fulfill the request her mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier. (Tap the above image for a sneak peek and to subscribe for updates.)