Saturday, May 28, 2011

pondering bird songs

I was reading and praying through Henri Nouwen's With Open Hands on my back deck Thursday morning. I was in that place where you're wrecked inside from asking, "God is what I'm hearing what I'm hearing? I want truth from You and nothing else, ever!" I was quiet and still for a long time, so much so that a (real live) bird landed on the table right in front of me and SANG OUT so loud that it scared me half to death. The funny little thing was looking right at me, too! Then it flew away...

Later that day I was at church to lead my little group of women in our study on prayer and Nouwen's book, when my friend (the secretary) reminded me that she was holding something I needed to pick up. Oh, yes! My prize! I'd won a beautiful creation by the one and only Angela Statzer (whose arts/crafts can be purchased at The Sanctuary in Davidson, by the way). She'd left it there for me. I fell in love with it (pictured above) right away, and of course being a lover of all-things-music I had to find out what song she'd used. I could tell by the sheet music that it was a hymn but not one I'm familiar with. Got out my trusty hymnal - nope, not there. So I looked it up online, using what lyrics I could see, and when I finally found it I gasped - actually I cried - as I read these words:

God is love! the heavens tell it,

Stars above in brillance spell it,

God is love! rejoice and sing my soul;

All the hills repeat its glory,

Rocks and rills sing out the story,

God is love! O let the music roll!

Hear it in the laughing wind

That whispers through a tree,

Listen to its echo

In a robin rhapsody;

Glorious word, all nature's ringing,

Have you heard the song they're singing?

God is love! O praise Him, God is love.

God is love! O truth transcendent,

Message of His Word resplendent,

God is love! Its pages all proclaim;

Christ the Lord, the great Creator--

Heav'n adored, became our Saviour,

Born on earth to bear our sin and shame.
But a waiting wandring world
His grace and mercy scorns
In a Roman judgement hall
They crowned Him king with thorns
O what loss! all earth should note it
at the cross in blood He wrote it;
God is Love! O hear it, God is Love!

I believe Angela's bird and the bird on my back deck were both trying to tell me the same thing: Never doubt it, listen to its echo in a robin's rhapsody... God is Love!

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