Sometimes when I’m telling Rebekah a story about this or that she will look me dead in the face and say, “I don’t get you.” Then I say, “what don’t you get? At this point, I’ll repeat the whole story about such and such and she’ll just shake her head and say it again, “Mom, I don’t get you.” Frustrated, I usually say never mind and then make a point of telling her how very much I don’t like that phrase. None of my other children have ever said that to me, only Rebekah. It’s her way of communicating I don’t even want to try understanding what you are saying right now. With those simple 4 words, she invalidates my voice and dismisses my story.
This weekend I attended a foreign language church service in a nearby community. To my ears, the worship service was filled with disjointed and competing sounds. The piano seemed to be playing one sound, the organ another, and several voices singing on the microphones yet another. As I looked around the room, unable to find the key or understand the words, I noticed everyone was boldly, loudly, and passionately worshipping. At that moment it hit me like a thunderbolt: I didn’t have to understand the sound to validate the sound.
Several sounds are rising from our society this past week that I don’t entirely get – on either side. To me, it all sounds a little disjointed. I’m looking around, unable to find the right words, and noticing so many shouting boldly, loudly, and passionately. But here’s the thing: I don’t have to understand the sound to validate the sound!
I think there must be an amazing filter in the heavenlies that takes all of the disjointed sounds from the earth and presents them in a beautiful crescendo to our God. It’s probably because He hears the sounds of our hearts instead of the broken and off-key sounds from our voices. It is simply a mystery to humanity.
Somewhere in the mystery (and frustration) of the “I don’t get you” we must fall onto the 2 greatest commandments: Love the Lord our God with all our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves. Seems to me this is how we will learn to truly hear and understand each other, even amid a disjointed sound. I refuse to believe there is an all right and an all wrong with either sound, it’s the blending and mash-up of the sounds that we are struggling with right now. We need a little bit of a heavenly filter to hear this all properly!
At some point during the worship service, I started clapping. And you know what happened? When I found a way to participate, others joined in with that common language. Ah, unity of sound. Maybe we should stop saying, “I don’t get you”, a phrase only invalidates and dismisses. Maybe we should be listening, validating, and looking for a sound we can all make together. And praying, we all need to be doing a whole lot more of that right now too.