Sometimes when I get here I spend the whole weekend trying to get the knots out of my rope. I get so bogged down and sidetracked all year long that by February I’m off in a dark corner somewhere and I’m needing Jesus to call my name so I can follow His voice and find my way out of the darkness. A school teacher told me Friday that she feels like she has committed some unpardonable sin and is going to hell because of it. She couldn’t put her finger on what that sin might be, but she has a feeling. I get like that sometimes. Maybe there’s something bad I did, or something good I failed to do, or some of both, or maybe none of that. But I often spend the whole weekend begging to hear His voice.
This has not been that kind of weekend. Just a few months ago I read “The Shack”. It is the best book I have ever read outside of the Bible. And I have read a lot of books. It may not be the best for anybody else. I’m just talking about myself. Since I read that book, I have been hearing His voice with such great clarity. On the way to my camping spot I was already hearing His voice.
Along with reading my Bible, I have read a little from Oswald Chambers book, “My Utmost for His Highest”. In the devotional for February 10, he says something profound. “If we are children of God, we have a Tremendous Treasure in Nature”. Just before I started writing all of this, I was walking through the woods. I was talking to Him a little, but mostly listening. I came to a sweet gum tree and felt the bark. I recognize that old boy. Just like a person who loves Van Goth can recognize one of his paintings, I can see the hand of my Maker in that tree. Then I went over to a pine and broke off a piece of bark. I know that bark; I know that tree. And there’s a shag bark hickory. I rubbed the bark and took a good look. Yes! I see the hand of the same Maker in all of them. I gave all those trees a hug. I have been doing that long before I knew there was a name for people like me. When folks call us “tree huggers”, it is never said in a charitable way. That’s okay. For me, it feels like the right thing to do.
I am never mad at the scientist. They see it, they study it, they want to understand it all. I am just like that. There is only one difference between the scientist and me. We both see and agree. The only difference is that the scientist sees with one dimension and thinks there is no more. Of course, by its very nature, science is what can be seen and felt, weighed and measured. If they could understand that there is another dimension! If they could see what the children of God see, their wide eyes of amazement would be wider still. I have all of Bob Dylan’s gospel albums. His third one is called “Shot of Love”. The last song on the record is “Every Grain of Sand”, and in that song he says, “I can see the Master’s hand in every leaf that trembles; in every grain of sand”.
That’s how this weekend has been for me. Every step I take! Rich Mullins said, “everywhere I go I see You”. Since it’s February, I’m walking on last years leaves. I know those leaves. They came from the same hand that made me. We are of the earth. He made us out of dirt and it feels good to be here. As much as I love to be in my shop building a guitar, I don’t hear the voice God the way I do out here in the woods. And feeling His presence out amongst these trees is not some nice warm spot somewhere in my heart. I feel His presence all over me and even out to the tips of my dried and cracked fingers.