Posts tagged hearing
PRIDE: part 1


The past month has been, for me, packed full of goodness: family, laughter, beauty, relationship, memories, joy. Firwood cottage opened her arms to embrace people I love: her cozy guest room in constant use, the kitchen a gathering place for ongoing conversation.

Yet one morning, right in the midst of wedding week fun, I made my way out to my tiny refuge in the backyard, that “shed” I claim as my own, and wondered why I hadn’t heard so much as a whisper from God in all the raucous clamor of celebration.

Why are You silent, Lord? Why can’t I hear?

And slowly, imperceptibly at first, I heard hints. I sensed the Spirit stirring me to lean in, to listen, to pay attention.

Opening my bible, I curled up in my big cushy chair, pen in hand, journal in my lap. I settled in to wait.

What would He say? Something encouraging and lovely? Quotable and profound?

No. Just this:

Though the LORD is great,

He cares for the humble,

but He keeps His distance from the proud.

He keeps His distance from the proud. Me? Are You talking about me, Lord?

And I knew before I asked that yes, my pride had pushed Him away. The distance I had suddenly sensed that morning had been growing for days, for weeks. Unrecognized, unrepented pride had worked its weasely way into my soul and now I felt the loneliness of that distance I had created.

My pride propels me into loneliness, pushing God aside, pushing my self forward until all I am is me.

And I hear Him speak, this time so fast I can hardly keep up while I write it down. He wants me back, tucked in close, reveling in the intimacy of connection, enjoying this time of my life with Him.

He knows I hadn’t noticed the emptiness of that place only He can fill. But I notice now and He fills me fast, He fills me full, I am bursting with the richness, all those aching places soothed.

But I don’t want to go there again. Because I didn’t mean to, didn’t even know I was wandering in that direction. Somehow I drove off on the wrong road and ended up with only a hint of God in my rearview mirror. What did I miss?

As I ask Him, a list forms in my head and my pen scrambles on the page to get it down. Too much for one post, I’ll give the first four here:

Subtle Signs When Pride Is Distancing Me From God:

1.    Self-sufficiency

When instead of praying about everything, I blunder through my days “accomplishing what concerns me”. I do it because it needs doing. My list leads.

I can do this. I can work harder and longer and better. I can get it all done!

That is pride disguised in the rigid uniform of work.

2.    Worth

When my achievements define my value; when I am what I do or I am what I have done or I am what people think I am.

When my value is caught up in my ability to do, that is pride.

3.   Insecurity

This is the reverse: When my failure defines me and I think I am merely the sum total of everything wrong with me. That is pride. It is making too much of my efforts, measly though they are, and making too little of God in me.

4.    Entitlement

When life goes bad and I get mad because I think I deserve better.

No, it is not okay to get angry with God! Who do I think I am? When I think I deserve more, deserve to be shielded from ugliness, deserve to be blessed just because I’ve been good, that is pride.

My list keeps growing, a living breathing knowing that this distance is my own doing. But there is joy in this knowing- because He welcomes me back, delights in my turning, soothes the rawness of my repentance. He doesn’t want to stand away from me. My Redeemer died to bring me close… to bridge that yawning fissure my pride opened between me and the One who made me for Himself.

I’ll be back with more to chew on next week.

From my heart,


P.S. Do you have a list of your own? Have you seen the subtle signs that keep you distant from God and wondering why? Let us learn from your stories, its so much better than failing in our own.










And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind

and unplug the ears of the deaf. 

The lame will leap like a deer,

and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Isaiah 35:5,6 

I wonder sometimes what I am missing by not hearing music.

I don’t remember, really, what bells sound like, or tinkling chimes.

What does it mean that a song is rich? Or layered and complex?

Why do people get in their cars and immediately reach for the power button on the CD player? My vintage 1976 Mercedes doesn’t even have a CD player.

And yet I see my son and how he loves his music. How he fits certain kinds to match his moods— loud and driving and strong for courage of conviction, soft and low for worship, crazy drum solos and crashing cymbals for joyful thanksgiving.

It all sounds terrible to me. When I’m “plugged in” (Comer-speak for when I have my cochlear attached to my head) it sounds just like the garbage disposal eating egg shells and ice. When I’m “unplugged” I hear nothing.

And this morning as I read about the building of the Temple by Solomon, I am struck by words about music. Bells on priest’s robes, musicians gathering to form choirs, and this:

All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the Lord. Their responsibilities included the playing of cymbals, harps, and lyres at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman reported directly to the king. They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord, and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student.

(1 Chronicles 25:6-8)

A family of music makers. Can you imagine the fun they had? The noise their neighbors put up with? And do you notice they all got to play? From the very beginner to the very best, this family made music together for the Lord.

And I wonder again what I am missing.

Would my worship be sweeter if I could sing along with my iPod?  If I didn’t cringe at the metallic clash of cymbals through my cochlear, would I smile and sing and shake my head like my son? Dance a jig in the hallway like he does when he thinks no one is watching?

Am I missing out on joy?

I try not to think about things like that— to accept my life now and be grateful for all I have. The fact that I can talk to my children and hear what they have to say is nothing short of a miracle that would have been impossible just 20 years ago.

I know that and I am thankful. Every morning when I put that thing on my head and reconnect with the sounds of living, I thank God that I can hear, that I am not isolated and alone.

But still I wonder.

And someday I’ll know.

On that day I step from this world into the Presence, I’ll hear the music. And you will too, but I’ll hear it in a way I think most people won’t. I’ll hear perfect music with perfect ears that have been deprived of something God made.

And I’ll be great friends with that tribe of people who couldn’t see here on earth- the blind ones drinking in every sight, marveling, touching, exclaiming at the beauty. And the ones lame leaping and dancing and doing somersaults— those who were confined by crippled bodies for too long.

I’ll be the deaf girl singing. At the top of my voice— no more pretending I hear more than a note or two. I’ll pick up the microphone and belt it out for all to hear— for me to hear.

And you? What is it you’ll go after when God brings you into His arms and says, “Welcome home?”

My dad, whose failing lungs hold him back now, will probably head for a hike high in the newly restored Sierras. Matt will eat whatever he wants, unhindered by a diabetic’s restrictions on carbs or insulin. My friend Becky will get up from her bed and lead us all in line-dancing.

I am missing something by not hearing music. I am supposed to hear music. And I think its good for me to just spend a moment or two grieving over the loss from time to time.

Not to wallow, just to wonder what I have waiting for me.

And isn’t that wondering part of the waiting? Part of why we wait on tippy toes?  Longing for the Day. The Someday.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,

and encourage those who have weak knees.

Say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, and do not fear,

for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.

He is coming to save you.”

Isaiah 35:3,4 

From my heart,