The Loudest Voice

I’m not so sure it was a silent night. Anybody who has given birth knows that it is NOT a quiet process. When Jesus was born in that manger, was his newborn cry tiny and frail? Could Mary and Joseph hear it over the sounds of the animals in the nearby stalls? Or was His the loudest voice of all?

When my babies were born, I saw nothing in that delivery room except that baby. Did he have hair? “How small she looks!” I counted all the fingers and toes… 40 fingers and 40 toes altogether over the years. “She has so much hair and its sticking straight up!!” “Look at his back… It’s covered in fuzz and there are rolls of fat.” I was so grateful and thankful to finally get that baby here, my focus was only on him. On her. And when I heard that first cry, I laughed and cried at the same time. Every time. It’s the most beautiful sound in the world!!

I think that Jesus’ voice was all his mother, Mary, heard that night. I think the sound of cattle and sheep, chickens and donkeys, and anything else in that stable receded into the background so far that Jesus’ voice is all she heard. She was listening for it at His birth, waiting to hear that first cry. And she was grateful and thankful to God for that sweet beautiful sound!

Jesus’ love is still the loudest voice. It reaches us in the middle of all the chaos of our lives. If we listen for His voice, everything else recedes into the background and HIS will be the only voice we hear. The world would have us believe otherwise. So many other voices are thrown at us all day every day, and if we aren’t paying attention, we could miss the sweet precious voice of Jesus and His love… His love that washes us in peace at Christmas time and every other time.

How my heart gets

I was never one to keep a journal of any kind. I’ve made repeated half-hearted attempts over the years, and the end result is lots of pretty journaling notebooks with a few pages of notes and poetry written in them… All collecting dust on a shelf or tucked away in a box or a drawer. When I started writing this blog, I was really concerned that it would go the way of those old journals, collecting cyber-dust someplace. Or that I wouldn’t REALLY have a song in my head every day… That somehow writing it down would stop the songs from coming.

But it hasn’t. Just like all the months and years before, I still wake up every morning with music in my head. The difference now is that I’m analyzing and critiquing the music. Was it there when I woke up? Did it wake me up or start after I was awake? Did I hear this song sometime yesterday and it’s still there? Why do I have three or four songs at one time this morning? Which one do I write about?

It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’ve had lots of sleep or very little sleep. Whether I ate right before going to bed, or not at all. My wake-up time is usually very early – about 5:15 in the morning, but later doesn’t seem to make a difference… Weekends, days off, holidays, sick days… Still there. When I started writing about them, I couldn’t say with certainty what kind of songs they were, what genre, nothing really except that they were there. Only through the blogging process have I come to realize that every one of the songs without exception has pointed me to God.

So then I think, “He has been there all this time. All these years. Every day, every night, while I sleep, He has been right there… Singing over me, just like the scripture promised.” I always heard that sleep is healing. That our bodies need sleep to build cells, to revive and rejuvenate. That our minds need sleep to rest and that sleeping long enough to dream is essential for healthy living. I think we need sleep so God can come close. Only when we are asleep are we still and quiet enough that God can come right next to us and sing in our ears the words He wants us to hear.

We do this with our own kids. I remember singing and whispering to my children when they were sleeping. Making up songs while the sun rose after being up all night with a sick baby boy. Up in the middle of the night with my baby girl and not wanting to put her back to bed… Just hold her a little longer. Standing and rocking my babies (that mother-rock we all do instinctively even just watching someone else do it) and singing them to sleep, getting softer and softer, then to a hum, until they are breathing quietly, deeply, and the whole house is perfectly silent and still.

That’s how my heart gets when I hear these songs in my head and write it all down. Quiet, still, peaceful. My stress level and anxiety disappear and I’m in my happy place. I don’t have to write it all down. I GET to write it all down. I absolutely cannot wait to get to my studio in the morning and write this blog. Sort of a gift back to God for the song in the night. An offering.

This morning, I had one line in my head that I can’t recall ever hearing in a song. “Jesus, when I speak Your name, You speak life to me.” It’s not my voice singing this line in my head. I think this morning that I will take it as a reminder.