"It's amazing how You can speak
right to my heart...
Without saying a word
You can light up the dark.
Try as I may
I can never explain
what I hear when You
don't say a thing...."
Okay, I admit it, I've got a little bit of a Ronan Keating musical (only) crush right now. I love his fresh take on songs I already love. "When You Say Nothing At All." is just another example of how this Irish songsmith can take a favorite, and make it feel new...not better, just new.
This is surprising, since Allison Krauss' version of "When You Say Nothing At All," has long been one of my all-time favorite songs...from one of my all-time favorite CDs.
But listening to Ronan's interpretation, tonight, I was reminded of how often, when God speaks, there are no words to explain what I have heard.
As Mary Baker Eddy says of her earliest expositions on spirituality and wellness:
"She lisped in numbers, for the numbers came."
I understand this. There are so many times when I have spent hours in silence and still have no words, only a deep feeling of peace and trust...and even those words... "peace" and "trust"...now seem empty, once I've typed them.
Yes, there are times when I hear God speak in prayer, "as man speaketh to man," but that said, it is in those moments of darkness, doubt, or anxiety...when His presence is just a warm wash of spiritual knowing...that I know Him most intimately.
Last night I was reading from "Fruitage," ...one hundred pages of letters from readers whose lives were transformed by reading Eddy's "lispings," which were later published as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures...and this letter [excerpted below] touched me deeply. It speaks so poignantly to the presence of God speaking to the heart, and yet, unutterably felt:
"It was in April, 1904, that I first heard the "still, small voice" of the Christ and received healing through Christian Science; and the blessings have been so many since, that it would take too much space to name them...a dear friend [had] left Science and Health upon my piano one day, saying that I would gain much good by reading it.
Glad to get away from my own poor thoughts, I opened the "little book" and began to read. I had read only a short time when such a wonderful transformation took place! I was renewed; born again. Mere words cannot tell the story of the mighty uplifting that carried me to the very gates of heaven.
When I began to read the book, life was a burden, but before I had finished reading it the first time, I was doing all my housework and doing it easily; and since that glorious day I have been a well woman....There have been some mighty struggles with error, and I have learned that we cannot reach heaven with one long stride or easily drift inside the gate, but that the "asking" and the "seeking" and the "knocking" must be earnest and persistent.
For a long time I was always looking back to see if the error had gone, until one day when I realized that to catch a glimpse of what spiritual sense means I must put corporeal sense behind me. I then set to work in earnest to find the true way. I opened Science and Health and these words were before me,
"If God were understood,
instead of being merely believed,
this understanding would establish health."
I saw that I must get the right understanding of God! I closed the book and with head bowed in prayer I waited with longing intensity for some answer. How long I waited I do not know, but suddenly, like a wonderful burst of sunlight after a storm, came clearly this thought,
"Be still, and know that I am God."
I held my breath - deep into my hungering thought sank the infinite meaning of that "I." All self-conceit, egotism, selfishness, everything that constitutes the mortal "I," sank abashed out of sight. I trod, as it were, on holy ground. Words are inadequate to convey the fullness of that spiritual uplifting, but others who have had similar experiences will understand.
From that hour I have had an intelligent consciousness of the ever-presence of an infinite God who is only good." - C.B.G. Hudson, MA
I thought about author, Mary Baker Eddy, receiving this letter and selecting it for publication as part, and parcel, to her primary text. It made me realize how much she loved her readers. Over and over again, she encourages us to seek these "silent utterances" of the Divine. To feel the presence of what cannot be described adequately with words.
He says it best, when He says nothing at all...
Kate Robertson, CS
[photo credit: Aaron McMullin 2010]