"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, May 8, 2009


I had a dear friend and teammate while living in Istanbul, Turkey. She loved the music of a bird's songs. She could hear a bird call and she usually could make a good guess at what kind of bird was singing. She knew the robin's song! Imagine. She would say, with intense excitement, "Stop. Listen!!... that is a blue bird".

Without fail she would then stop whatever she was doing to look out a window, down an alley or in a nearby tree to search and find the vocalist.

I was always astonished when she would stop me to listen with her. I didn't get it. Not only could I not imagine learning a particular bird song, but I just simply don't naturally hear the birds around me at all.

Well... at least I didn't used to. Now I do. I am sitting here to write my blog and instead of writing what I sat down to write... I am struck by the melody of song outside my window. It is beautiful. It is sweet.

Isn't it interesting how we affect each other?!

We, as humans, have such a deep impact on each other. We can be totally unaware of our impact, for good or for bad. Yet, the impact is significant.

This friend had no idea the influence she was having on my soul when she turned my ears to the birds and my eyes to the sunset or the nearby flowers. This is a gift she gave to me by just being herself. She wasn't ever pointing it out for my benefit. She was just fully engaging in the world. She was simply living her life for me to witness.

She once told me that she had purposely learned the song of the robin in an attempt to train her ear to the voice of God.

Isn't that what I have received from her! It is as if she gave me a gift of awareness. By simply being with her, I learned from this friend that even my natural tendencies can be altered.

Once I was blind to the beauty of creation and now I see! Now I can't help but notice the song of birds, the color of flowers and the site of a stunning sunset. This encourages me to pursue and persevere in learning God's still small voice.

As I sit here and listen to the song of the birds a beautiful phrase is swimming in my mind, "Be still and know that I am God".

Again, there it is... be still. Sit still, Stephanie. This friend had to say "Stop. Look. Listen" in order for me to see or hear that which she was sharing with me. I need to stop and be still more often. A stillness in my soul needs to develop in order to hear and see He who is always speaking.

Oh Lord, would you give me awareness. Lord, give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a stillness of soul to listen.
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