“When was the last time you heard the birds chirping, Sean?”
This question was posed by my friend who also happened to be a Psychologist. This was his indirect way of questioning the temp of my life, and the balance I had in my relationships. He was clever like that. He asked this question of me about 15 years ago I suppose and I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about it since then.
So this last week, as I went to walk around the neighborhood, my mind was full of all the thoughts we all have had during this unique moment. I’m sure my eyebrows were furrowed as I was in deep thought pounding the sidewalk.
But somehow, in the middle of all of the heaviness, I was struck by the chorus of birds that filled the air around me. It was really beautiful. Then, the old question by my friend, flittered into my mind.
Similarly, my wife lamented of the news we heard this last week of a friend’s father dying, of a friend diagnosed with cancer, and of two suicides. She said she just seems to be hearing so many stories lately like these.
I told her I didn’t know if there were more of them, or if we are living quieter lives and we now are able to hear better the sorrows of others.
The Psalmist tells us “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth!”Psalm 46:10
In our stillness, let us hear His creation. Let us hear the birds chirping and let us hear the sorrow of our neighbors so that we can move into their pain. In doing so, we redeem the time, and the silence becomes our friend.
When was the last time you heard the birds chirping?