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Sweet, Sweet Sounds – A Pandemic Devotional

March 17, 2020 | Gregg Caruso

Written by Susan Leatherwood, who is our CCC Admin Coordinator. She shared this devo at our staff meeting on March 17, 2020. Enjoy…

Oh, such a melody of woodland sounds surrounds me this morning, filling my ears with a cacophony of music, as its dewy floor lifts it’s earthy fragrance to my sense of smell.

As I breathe in deeply, I close my eyes allowing the music to intensify and become a symphony playing to my soul, no longer a meaningless mixture of sounds, I am reminded of God’s presence as nature lifts its voice to its creator.

Each note sung in perfect harmony to the One who placed it within; each sharing its own concerto with ears willing to rest within its reach. Oh, such perfect praise lifted to its maker.

And what of me? Who am I that I should be so blessed as to have a front-row seat to this glorious concert filling and lifting my soul to heavenly places? And once filled, then what?

Do I walk away never to have been changed by His touch? I think not.
I must use this melodious sustenance wisely, digesting it, and allowing it to energize my spirit.
In what manner will I go forth today singing my song instilled within me?
Will I use my song to sweetly touch another leaving them to thus seek their sacred song within?

 Matthew 5:16 NIV
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Mathew 5:16 The Message:
Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Reflective thoughts on Sweet, Sweet Sounds: reading over what I wrote made me think of Oikos/Koinonia, the sharing with one another what God has placed within all He has created. The birds instinctively shared with anyone willing to listen to the message the creator placed within them. The woodland is their oikos which I entered for a short period of time. And while I was there, they shared their gift with me, the gift of praise to our shared Creator. Their tweets are unique to each one of them and serve a unique purpose. Sometimes they are a simple song while at other times they are a warning signal of danger in the area. They freely share this gift of song, and out of their freely sharing, they blessed me by awaking my spirit, bring a calm and surrender of my spirit to God, drawing my soul into His presence. Their instilled song (prayer), such a simple act, stirred a song (prayer) within me. We were suddenly a community worshipping the Creator as one.

And as I left their oikos, re-entering to my own oikos, and carrying this shared gift within me, the questions arose then, and arises even now, “Will I allow the Spirit of God to freely flow through me, engaging koinonia and building up all those that I share this chosen time with?”

What if I were to naturally, without reservation, allow the gifts God has so generously placed within me, to flow out into those placed within “my woodlands”, my daily community, my oikos?  Would my gifts cause them to take pause and seek the Lord (as in Matthew 5:16)? Is this not what must become so natural to me as does the song sung by my feathered friends?

My reflections on this devotional continued…and I was drawn to seek out more of an understanding of the word “cacophony.”

In Greek phōnē means “sound” or “voice.” Cacophony comes from a joining of the Greek prefix kak-, meaning “bad,” with phōnē, so it essentially means “bad sound or sounds at-odds with one another.”  While interestingly “symphony” is a word that indicates harmony or agreement in sound.

Could this cacophony of sounds I first heard as I entered the woods be like the sounds whirling through our minds, especially as we hear the news reported over and over?  The cacophony, or “bad sounds,” such as worry, fear, anxiety, markets dropping…all words “at odds” with the words of our Lord.

As the Lord brought together all the mixed sounds of my woodlands and melded and blended them together and created a place of harmony, can He not also take these negative words captive and create a symphony out of them when we look to his word?

Philippians 4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

So, as I end my reflection for now on this devotional, my spirit is enveloped with God’s assuring and comforting words spoken to us in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

As my devotional said:

I must use this melodious sustenance wisely, digesting it, and allowing it to energize my spirit.
In what manner will I go forth today singing my song instilled within me?
Will I use my song to sweetly touch another leaving them to thus seek their sacred song within?
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