A Listening Heart

“I have found a corner in Fortification Woods, only five minutes from the house, where every one is quite out of sight, and I go there every morning with my Bible…  it is so delicious on these hot spring mornings and God rests one through it for the whole day, and speaks so through all living things.”   Journal Letters

Francis Bacon wrote:  “God has two textbooks – Scripture and Creation – and we would do well to listen to both.” Lilias “read” God’s Work alongside His Word.  She saw lessons in its design and processes which revealed to her the Creator, nourishing her beauty-loving spirit as well as her God-loving soul.  Her diaries and journals are filled with lessons from the natural world illuminated with her watercolors:

“The daisies have been talking again…”

“The word of the Lord came on a dandelion…”

The martins have been reading me a faith lesson…”

“The snow is speaking…”

“I was much comforted this morning by a shaft of sunlight that came with sunrise..”

The created always whispers and sometimes shouts its Maker pointing us continually from the seen to the unseen – if only we attend.  And I ask myself:  Am I listening?  Do I allow God’s voice to speak through the natural world as well as through His revealed Word?  What does it take for me to hear?

While there is no simple prescription, I suspect it begins with an attentive eye and a listening heart.  Elizabeth Barret Browning captured this reality in poetry:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees takes off his shoes,

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”

The challenge is implicit:   Stop.  Look.  Listen!

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