A voice that doesn’t use words

I’m sitting here in the Arizona shade. It’s spring and the desert is in bloom. Yesterday I was in Denver, and if you have allergies this might not be your favorite time of year. Flowers everywhere, so many colors and smells all over the place. 

I’m turning over the words of Rumi this morning when he said, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.” Ironic that I am now typing words about this quote! Perhaps I haven’t yet embraced what he meant. 

As I sit here looking at the bougainvillea, I wonder, is it the voice of flowers? Is it the voice of the Creator communicating without words through the beauty of creation? I wish I could ask Rumi if the voice that doesn’t use words that he was speaking of was the voice of the flowers. Jesus said, “consider the lilies of the field.” I imagine Christ meant the tulips and the daffodils and the peonies too. Does the earth have any better scent than spring lilacs? It’s like heaven on earth that smell of spring lilacs (with a side of Claritan for some of you, of course)! 

Maybe flowers are speaking to me because my soul is sore these days. I’m weary on the inside and, at times, a stranger to myself. I need the care of silence and flowers. I need bird watching to bring me back to God and to my own heart. I hear so many birds singing right now, an array of songs from here in the desert.  Right here where there is so little water, the birds still sing and the flowers still bloom. It’s a miracle really, a sight to behold — this desert in spring, full of birds and blooms. If God cares for them like this, how much more will he care for me? That’s what Jesus said. It’s the best theology I know today. 

I told my friend Kate that I feel like I am being ambushed by the beauty of spring these days. We were in New York over spring break and everything was bursting with color there. I find myself walking around Platt Park — all up in my head about whatever worries or plans I’m making — and suddenly I am sideswiped by some incoming sighting of spring. 

Did you see the Coughlin’s tree? Literally, I saw people stopping on the sidewalk to photograph it. Curt Thompson writes on the importance of putting yourself in the path of oncoming beauty. Oh, how I need exactly that these days! Nature’s beauty seems to be the only way God can reach me sometimes. Thank you, Lord, for these good gifts! Our tired hearts receive them and we thank you, Creator of it all.

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