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When God Speaks: A Poetic Reflection

Jesus said “Lazarus” to a dead man and he got out of the ground...


You live in a foreign country long enough, meaning will eventually come from the staccato gibberish the locals throw around you. These alien voices will some day make sense.

Rich Mullins once asked, where have we ever been that was not a foreign land?

What voices have we ever heard that were not alien voices, and what does our mother-tongue sound like?

Who has heard the voice of God and lived to tell about it? Or, as Lewis said, No one hears the voice of God and thinks it’s something else.

When the Voice speaks about you, you begin to exist.

Isn’t that how the voice of God works? He spoke the galaxy into existence, yet you complain about never having heard His voice. Look around you: there’s His voice echoing through the motion of the atomic mist and the violence in the sunset.

Over there is a word He said, called “tree” and it’s brown because it’s winter, but it’s not dead.

Not yet.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if God spoke my name. What would burst forth? What type of new life would emerge from me?

Jesus said “Lazarus” to a dead man and he got out of the ground.

Jesus says “Ethan” to me and _______. (If I knew what would happen, it wouldn’t really be from God, right?)

This is what happens when the Infinite speaks into the finite: time no longer destroys things and death dies.

We’ve been living in this foreign land long enough and we have yet to make sense of our own voices. What is our language; what materials is it made of? Philosophers argue that it’s the building blocks of epistemology; knowledge. I argue that language is (at least) half of the imago Dei.

Bishop Berkeley said that all of reality exists because it is being thought of in the mind of God. In other words, if He were to stop thinking about something, it would cease to exist. Just imagine what would happen if He opened His mouth! Just imagine what sort of fitful life would burst forth if He did! Maybe it would be a crazy world like this one that spins and has jillions of colors and praying mantises…

Maybe that’s why the Bible begins with God speaking, because we are more than ethereal thought in His brain; we have been spoken into tangible matter!

I want to talk back to God more. He has spoken me into the galaxy so the least I can do is chat back. May we be people who watch for God’s voice. And may we talk back every now and then too.


2 comments on “When God Speaks: A Poetic Reflection

  1. Lambert Dolphin

    Song of Songs 2:8-14

    The voice of my beloved!
    Behold, he comes
    Leaping upon the mountains,
    Skipping upon the hills.
    My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
    Behold, he stands behind our wall;
    He is looking through the windows,
    Gazing through the lattice.
    My beloved spoke, and said to me:
    “Rise up, my love, my fair one,
    And come away.
    For lo, the winter is past,
    The rain is over and gone.
    The flowers appear on the earth;
    The time of singing has come,
    And the voice of the turtledove
    Is heard in our land.
    The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
    And the vines with the tender grapes
    Give a good smell.
    Rise up, my love, my fair one,
    And come away!
    “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    In the secret places of the cliff,
    Let me see your face,
    Let me hear your voice;
    For your voice is sweet,
    And your face is lovely.”

    The Shulamite is every follower of Jesus. He wants intimacy with each of us whether we are male or female.

  2. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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