I heard my first Whippoorwill of the year tonight! How satisfying and relaxing to hear that sound. Those of you that are not from this part of the USA might not know what a “Whippoorwill is, but those of us from the mountains now that it is a small bird that sings a sweet song, only at dusk, that sounds exactly like someone saying, “Whip poor will”. It’s a pretty and enchanting little tune and we often hear it during the evenings at camp when campers are here. But beautiful as the whippoorwill’s song is, the bird is really not that attractive. It’s smallish, a combination of gray and black colors and not very “elegant”, as birds go, I suppose. Yet what a majestic little song it creates. It’s my favorite of the “bird songs” of this part of the country.
I wonder sometimes how my “song”, i.e. my words, affect the people I work with, live among and worship beside. Are my words and responses beautiful, inspiring and enchanting, or is my tune more like a finger-nail scratching a chalkboard——screeching, annoying and unappreciated. We’ve all been around people like that: they talk too much, or share far too much information than we care to hear or don’t know how to speak “nicely”, et.c. But what about you and me? How do we really “sound" as we go about our tasks? Are my words encouraging, kind, helpful, needed, appreciated, anticipated and the source of inspiration, or are they (unintentionally) the very opposite?
Many times I find myself saying things I really do not need to say and that were not at all helpful or purposeful. But like “tasty morsels” there are moments when I let things blurt out because I can’t seem to resist! The Whipperwill sings a song that makes me want to be quiet and listen, and that’s how my words (my “song”, if you will) should be as well. I should speak in such a manner that others will want to be silent so that they can be lifted up and get a better glimpse of what a man in love with God "sounds" like.
If no one could see our faces or our cars or houses or fancy clothes or beautiful physiques, etc. …… if all they could do was hear what we said, would they be drawn to us? More profoundly, would they be drawn to Him?
Lord help me to know when to sing… and know when to shut up. Lord put the right words in my mouth and let me build-up someone; let someone that needs to hear an echo from heaven be inspired by something I say. Help me to give up trying to be seen; let me live so that others might instead want to hear what I say.