Here in the SEC at least, Psalm 19 was set for Morning Prayer today. I always enjoy these lines (vv2-4), letting them roll on my tongue and in my mind many times over.
One day tells its tale to another,*
and one night imparts knowledge to another.
Although they have no words or language,*
and their voices are not heard,
Their sound has gone out into all lands,*
and their message to the ends of the world.
Whilst I was at theological college, we did a lot of work on hearing people into speech. We worked hard at listening attentively to silences and to the things that were left unsaid. We looked for the voiceless characters in the Bible and allowed them to tell their stories.
As a mother I have children who never stop chattering and one child who for the longest time had no words or language that most people would recognise. At 15, he is beginning to use a few words that are essential to him, like “paper” or “tape”. I’ve worked amongst others with similarly little language and I’ve watched each and every one communicate clearly with those who truly know them and care enough to pay attention. Those who will follow the gaze of an eye, allow themselves to be led, who will exchange reassuring (chaste) kisses and listen to the tone of unarticulated sounds.
In a world so shaped by words: those we hear; those we read; those reported to us; those caught unintentionally… sometimes it’s good to let one day tell its tale to another without framing it in words. Below I offer some pictures from the last week. I invite you to sit quietly before them in God’s presence and to offer whatever responses come to you in prayer.