August 01, 2018

Sound Bloom: Digital Art: 16×18: Alicia R. Shipe

I just realized something as I was reading Genesis 1 through the leading of Holy Spirit; “Then God said…And He saw it was good…”. The first part of that sequence holds something I haven’t seen before; “Then God said…” implies someone or something is listening. When God said, there was an entity that brought forth what He spoke. Yes, it is important to recognize the commanding of the Lord but what goes beyond His Voice is our hearing/listening and obeying/doing.

Isaiah 55:10-11 – “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

God’s Word will always accomplish what it was sent for. We, His chosen, must be willing and able to hear Him. Through learning to hear the Lord, we can learn how to hear each other (or vice versa). However, I strongly believe hearing and listening involves more than our ears. We have the ability to use all of our senses in unison to be able to gain more insight into any given situation.

If we are always speaking then there’s no time or space to listen to others which can help us mature and create true non-superficial relationships. I am currently trying to learn how to actively listen to myself and my surroundings. Sometimes listening involves removing distractions from the environment. There is too much “junk” in our everyday conversations which also translates into our conversations with the Lord. This “junk” also clutters how we hear each other and how we listen to our environment which in turn influences how we speak. I don’t mean what language or what accent we have. I’m talking about the substance of our words. Complaining breeds more complaining. Arguing breeds more arguing. Why? Because there is no balance of listening/acknowledging and speaking with purpose.

Listening and hearing are just as important as “Then God said…”. God is not speaking without purpose. God Himself also responds to our voices because He listens and hears. Shouldn’t we do the same? Everyone wants to be heard but few of us are willing to truly listen. There is a balance that is important to maintain. Practice makes perfect. The most important thing for me is to remember that listening is not just hearing words that are spoken but “hearing” everything in that moment to get to the heart and truth of the substance. We have to hear and listen to look and see as well as look and see to hear and listen.

-Alicia R. Shipe-