“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

The Source of the Sound

Last Friday, I spent about 100 minutes walking, praying, thinking, looking, seeing, and smelling the outdoors alone. My wonderful Prayer Sisters and I met at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in the late morning, sat in the cafe and chatted an hour and a half or so, then went off on our own.

Beautiful, isn't it?
And did I ever need it.The noises and activities around me for the past...oh, I dunno...44 years (!!) were piling up a bit, and I needed some time with just me, my brain, and God's creation (and just a bit of man's too).

As I walked along the park's boardwalk and nature trails, I was able to truly relax, look, listen and smell the flora and fauna that surrounded me (the sculptures too - but in all honesty, that was the least intriguing in my opinion).

One thing I heard A LOT of was chirping. And some quacking. And perhaps a bit of cooing. I was clearly surrounded, on most every side sometimes, by birds.
But just because I could hear them didn't mean I could see them.
In fact, most of the time it was the exact opposite. Sure, my gaze caught the occasional bird on a branch, eating off the ground, or flying through the air. For the most part, however, those flying singers were hidden from my view.

And I tried to find them. I looked up into the trees, glancing from every possible direction. I stood for several minutes, trying to follow the sound to its location. But, nine times out of ten (and that's probably generous!), I saw nothing.

But still, I knew they were there. I never assumed I was hearing things, or that the folks at the gardens had strategically placed speakers with recorded bird noises throughout the gardens, playing them to create the illusion of actual birds. They may have been out of sight, but they were still there.

God's like that sometimes too, isn't He? We don't often see Him with our two eyes, but we know He's there. We can hear Him - through His Word, His voice in our heads, sermons from His ministers. He acts in our lives whether we see (or acknowledge) Him or not.

So remember - even if you don't see Him, He's still around. The evidence is all around us - and it's not a recording.
Do you remember to give God the credit for His work in your life, even when you don't see it as such? How often do you "miss" that the Lord is acting just because you don't see Him physically?

Comment below, and/ or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength


  1. Jo, what a beautiful reminder to intentionally spend time alone in His presence. Also, thanks for the reminder to be aware and thankful for His work in our lives. Hugs!

  2. Beautifully put! May God open our ears to hear His voice each moment, and may His voice be louder than all the others (most specifically, our own) vying for our attention and allegiance. Thanks, Jo!

  3. I like this and it's true. Even when I can't see Him, there is evidence all around me that He is ever present.

  4. Oh Jo, so good!! A perfect illustration of this. Thank you.


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