30/03/2022 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
Hear With The Right Organ
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
“Hear With the Right Organ”
The human ear is a marvel of God’s creation. It is how we interpret the environment around us through sound. The ear has a channel, tiny hairs to help keep foreign material out, and my favorite, a drum (my musical instrument of choice!). Sound waves enter the outer ear, travel down the ear canal, and strike the ear drum. It doesn’t end there, but this is where the marvel begins.
Behind the eardrum are three very important bones commonly called the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. These bones perform the mechanical portion of sending sound signals to the brain. As the eardrum vibrates, these vibrations cause the three bones to move, eventually causing variating pressure on the cochlea. This variating pressure causes electrical signals to be sent to the brain where the signals are then interpreted and compared to other sounds our brain has already stockpiled and named.
When we are young, our brains have a lot of stockpiling to do. Some say they are clean slate upon which the sounds of the world can write a symphony. Some of those symphonies are great, some good, and some not so pleasant. The sound of a mother’s voice to a baby is pure joy. The clanking of a car’s engine is not so good to the owner. And the sounds of war are very unpleasant to a military individual. These sounds are received, travel down the ear canal eventually ending up in our brain to be interpreted, classified, and stored. But is all our hearing done with only the ear?
In his book “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell proposes we make decisions in a split second. Most of these decisions are accurate in that initial moment. But we as adults must ponder our decisions, which can be a good thing. But most of the time the pondering doesn’t change the outcome. In our pondering, biases seep in and unless controlled can lead us down paths of judging the occurrence in light of inaccurate circumstantial data. With this in mind, children are much better making snap decisions than adults because of the lack of bias.
Jesus called the little children to Himself. The Apostles scolded the mothers who were bringing the children to Jesus. He told them to stop and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” The mothers brought their children to Jesus for a blessing. The children were placed in the lap of the Messiah. The children openly accepted Him because they “heard” the love Jesus had for them. They heard this love not in their ears, but with their hearts.
You may call it intuition or a gut feeling, but I call it heart. Our brains can get in our way often as we try to rationalize and categorize religion. I would recommend removing your brain and your ears from this process and use your heart. The “heart of us” is the most Holy Place where the Spirit of God resides. Therefore, when you want to hear from God, lose the ears and loosen the heart!