Shouts of Joy

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We all love a great sunset, or a beautiful mountain. A walk along a sandy beach or a breathtaking spring landscape can leave us deeply moved. But have you ever wondered why? What is it about nature, about beauty, that touches us so deeply. Sure, you can say we are wired to appreciate beauty. But what if the reason is deeper and way more amazing than you ever dreamed…
Shouts of Joy

I have been reading recently and have come across reference after reference of nature “speaking”.. like Isaiah 55, “the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you…” and many other references throughout the Psalms.  There is even a verse that says that the rocks will cry out in God’s honor.  I realize that certainly there is some poetic license going on, utilizing what we would term human qualities applied to what are seemingly inanimate objects.  There is even a word for giving human characteristics to non-human objects: anthropomorphic. But then I thought that perhaps there is more to the story.
When we think of words, communications, we always think of the spoken word.  Yet words do not originate in our mouth, they originate in our minds and hearts.  I am right now thinking thoughts that my brain then takes and translates into words and sends signals to my fingers to type out.  I don’t have to speak them out loud, they exist apart from the physical manifestation of spoken word.  They even exist if I do not type them or otherwise externally notate them.  When I pray, I am speaking in my heart.  Certainly this communication, these words, are real as they make it to God.  They are not objects in the sense that they are something made of matter that I can hold and see, yet they exist.  They exist in a type of other dimension, some type of spiritual plane or reality.  I think them.  They are real and current and can at whatever point I choose, become converted to physical energy as I open my mouth and force air out of my lungs to impact the air around me, producing sound waves (sound energy) that ripple through the atmosphere (and occasionally into someone’s ears where the process is reversed- sound energy into brain impulses into meaning consumed by my mind and heart).
And if my thoughts truly operate in this spiritual plane, and if God can “hear” them despite them not being spoken, then there must be a type of “spiritual communication” that is possible without the physical limitations of having a mouth (or physical ears to hear it).  That’s what leads me back to the verses mentioned before.  What if, what if, nature truly IS capable of communication.  Not poetic or anthropomorphic, but actual communication.  What IF God’s creations were actually, this moment, shouting for joy?  Literally.  Maybe muted in this war-zone, to be sure.  In fact,  Romans 8:19-22, speaks of creation (including us) when it says “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him (Adam) who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”
Creation shouting.  Creation groaning.  And don’t you find that sometimes when you see a particularly striking sunset, or take in the glory of a snowcapped mountain, or feel the mist of a waterfall, that you could swear you are experiencing something more than the physical.  That something of God is speaking directly to you out of the creation?  Maybe it actually is.  Maybe when you have those moments, your ears are tuning into the spiritual orchestra of song that is speaking, as the prophet Isaiah said, “Shout for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!  Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth;  Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains,  O forest, and every tree in it.”
Certainly we would all agree that plants and animals are alive.  And science is certainly proving that every created object is, at its core, a moving swirl of activity of atoms and quarks and who knows what else.  And since all that we know that exists has come from a Creator who is alive at His core, doesn’t it make sense that his creation is abuzz with his life, even the inanimate objects?  That they all, in their own spiritual voice (different than ours to be sure, but still existing), are celebrating the Great One? And that when we are in tune with Him, we get a small glimpse, a faint overheard whisper, of what He hears from His creation.
And my mind turns even deeper, for if my spoken words originate with my thoughts, intentions and heart, then God’s most certainly do as well. And suddenly “The Word became flesh and lived among us…” begins to sing in my ears as it starts to take on a depth of meaning that I have never quite understood before. God’s deepest heart, His truest thoughts, His most heartfelt intentions towards me, His… Word… translated thru space and time, flesh and bone, and lived among us, full of glory and truth.

Let him who has ears to hear... listen.

(Photo Credit: Terry Pernsteiner)