As I went careening down the waterslide at what felt like 100 mile per hour, all I could hear was water was whooshing around me, echoing in the tube, practically trying to drown me. The rushing water was so deafening it smothered out the “Shoot, shoot, shooooot!” I was yell thinking in my head. Finally, I came blasting out the end of the fifty foot drop with everything still intact inside my swimsuit only to see the 16 year old lifeguard bored out of his mind. I felt like jumping up and yelling, “Ta-Da!” But, he wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was with my near death experience.
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.”Psalm 29:3
Shouts of joy, excitement, and a wee bit of terror (my own), echos throughout the metal water park building. There are parents calling across the pools to corral young ones back to safety, all while whistles and horns blare above the sound of rushing water all day. Like most pools, they add mood music that rolls somewhere above the bedlam.
The same day as my terrifically, horrific waterslide performance I stood at my pool locker listening to these water park sounds. There, above the sounds floated that canned, tinny music. A voice. A familiar song when in the car I immediately push the button to skip. I can’t listen to its jarring words about a lost loved one gone too young. “Why is there a song about drowning at the waterpark anyway!,” I wanted to yell. There at my locker I didn’t have the skip option and it continued to play on, louder and louder than all of the the water park pandemonium. I may have been the only one washing tears away from a voice that struck me down harder than the wave pool.
“The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning …”Psalm 29:7
I listen to voices all day long. We all do, I would guess. There are voices that encourage and love and lift. They give life. And voices that jab a little, bring me down a bit, and push me back to that arm’s length. And there are voices in my head that come from the not so distant past. I wish I could give my head a little bang on the side and they would bounce out of my ears like water stuck inside. A whoosh that would suddenly disappear.
There’s the voice of the funeral director; words I wish I could put back in his mouth. They are words he meant with kindness. But, they are words that hit hard and fast every time I turn the corner and see his building. They remind of a hurt larger than life.
Sticks and stones they break my bones, but words, words live in my head for days and nights to come.
There are words filled with a laughter that rings so unique and with so much memory even my youngest says, “But, I hear his laugh when I see that.” Words, sayings, a voice, that resonates in our heads and dominates our thoughts; one we all long to have back, yet run from because the punch hits hard when it comes.
Sticks and stones don’t hurt like the piercing of a long lost voice.
But, that rhyme from my youth forgets to tell about God’s word and the power it holds.
Lord, let your voice be louder, louder than all the distractions, I pray.
God spoke the world into being. His is a voice that creates light and dark. He speaks oceans to be filled with creatures we may never see or understand. His voice is one that created the stars filled with Stellar vibrations for an audience in the heavens. When the Lord speaks to Job in all of his misery I am both in awe and in fear of this voice. And when Ezekiel describes God’s voice he says it is like the roar of rushing waters.
“His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.”Ezekiel 43:2
Lord, let your voice be louder. Let it be louder than me shooting out the end of a water park tube screaming louder than the three year olds. Let it speak more powerfully than the voices around me and inside of me. Remind me through your word you are the Alpha and Omega who is the spring of the water of life (Rev.21:6). Be louder, Lord.