When God Shouts
It's been hard to escape the deluge of sobering news regarding the COVID crisis here in the United States. God knows I've tried. Maybe you have, too.
But still, it's always there in front of us, and I'm noticing that the news isn't coming from parts unknown any longer. I have more and more friends who are being affected by the pandemic---including some who became quite ill, or who lost family members.
Try as we might, it's hard to find moments of normalcy in the midst of a world that has moved on from what used to be, and into an unknown future. It's also hard to navigate through the anxiety that is always thrumming just below the surface of everything over the deep divisions in our society.
Things are not as they ought to be---that much is clear.
So today I was reading through some of my notes, and I happened upon this C.S. Lewis quote that I found myself reading over and over again because it resonated with me on a level I couldn't fully comprehend in the moment:
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is [God’s] megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
I've written here before about how we are able to hear God speaking to us in the midst of chaos and tumult when we are able to stay centered, peaceful and hopeful---to pay attention to the sheer sound of silence in the depths of our soul.
But this line from Lewis speaks to a different kind of message from God. And if Lewis is right, what do you think God might be shouting to rouse a world that doesn't seem to be listening?
Could it be that God is shouting over the din of division that there is a better way forward than our never-ending arguments and ceaseless bickering?
Could it be that God is shouting that there are those among us who need our selfless protection because they are vulnerable to a virus that doesn't seem to care about politics?
Could it be that God is shouting that there are desperate, lost, and lonely people on the fringes of our society who need to know that someone actually cares about them?
Could it be that God is shouting to tell us just how capable we might be at healing the wounds that have been inflicted by bigotry and hatred?
Could it be that God is shouting to remind us of our responsibility to care for a Creation that God loves, calls good, and has not given up on by a long shot?
Could it be that God is shouting at us to tell us that we are not alone, that we are loved beyond love, that we are cherished and held in the middle of our uncertainty and fear?
I still feel there is merit to the notion that we need stillness and quiet within our souls to more clearly hear the voice of God speaking to us, cajoling us, calling to us, challenging us.
But I also know that God's voice can be clearly heard saying some things louder because we all need to hear them. Some things need to be said with an emphasis in order for their message to be received over the competing noise. They are imbued with a sense of urgency.
Sit in quiet today, and let your soul find stillness. Attune your ears to the always-speaking voice of God in the world around you. What seems louder to you right now? What is being said that is urgent and covered in holy purpose?
What is being said that needs the whole world to hear?
May you hear, and may it change you. May you hear and may it move you to discern where God is at work in the world to effect that holy purpose... and join God there.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.