The Dissonance of Chaos and A New Song of Hope
Normally, I welcome the restful quiet of my home, but lately I’ve felt tempted to crank up the music to drown out the dissonant sounds of the chaos of our nation. I think I’ve always been one to push toward peace where possible, pleading that the discord and waves be quieted. Once again, God challenges me to open my ears and heart. He wants me to hear the brokenness within the noise and confusion, but also his song of hope rising out of the shattered pieces.
Over the years I’ve listened to and written the stories of others. Not the pretty ones, but those full of heartache and pain. As the stories unfolded in their telling, I often began to hear the promising notes of beautiful courage growing stronger and louder.
What are the emotions and thoughts stirring in you as you hear the stories around you or happening within your culture today? What is difficult right now for you to hear?
With similar ears I’ve begun to listen to the stories of our current culture of unrest. More and more these tear at my soul. People seem to have forgotten how to have conversations that foster mutual listening and respect. Instead, dehumanizing words and actions are perpetuated against one another. I wonder where it will stop before we are completely destroyed as a nation. I strain to hear the hope in it all.
But can I do my small part? Quiet my own words and thoughts and discover where I can listen more or how I can reach into the dissonace? And can I begin to pick out the notes of a new song, an offering of courage and hope?
How about you? When you quiet your soul and listen, what do you hear?
Amidst the chaos and unrest, how might you
listen with God for his notes of courage and hope?
The writer of Psalm 40 encourages us to come out of the mire of chaos to sing the new song God desires to put within us. I’ve often approached the words in this psalm in a very personal way—the slimy pit and mud and mire my own making. I won’t discard that view. It helps me prayerfully examine and discern my part in the mire and my need to call on him. But recently I took another look and saw the pit and mire as a collective one that we have sunk into as a nation and world.
The surrounding words of that psalm are graciously true for all of us as well: We wait patiently for the Lord and he turns to us and hears our cry. He will lift us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire and set our feet on a rock, giving us a firm place to stand. And he will put a new song in our mouth, a hymn of praise to him.
What is that new song? I don’t know it yet, but for now I can listen for the few notes he is giving me to sing.
Shh. Quiet your own mind and soul with me, my friends. Listen to your heart and to God’s. Even through the dissonance of chaos, can you hear the notes of his new song for us?
Notes of hope, of courage, of love. Notes of creativity, vision, and healing. Notes of openness, trust, respect. Notes of peace. Do you hear them?
Hum a few notes and allow the song to grow in you until together we can join our stanzas and harmonies to sing the same song. His song.
TAKE IT DEEPER:
Read through Philippians or one of Paul’s other letters.
Most of the churches Paul wrote to were living in cities full of
unrest. As you read, write down words and phrases that give you
direction in how to respond differently, words that are “notes”
for a new song God might be placing into your heart.
What are the beginning notes God is giving you specifically to sing out into the hopelessness, the restlessness, the chaos of our time? That courageous, unique stanza you can contribute as a woman in your home, organization or community? Share below your initial thoughts or the verses of your heart so that together we might begin to catch the words of his new song for our communities, nation and world.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:3 ESV