A million different voices

“‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’.  But how can they call on One they haven’t believed in? And how can they believe if they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10v13-15

“The Lord gave the word, and great was the company of the preachers” Psalm 68v11

My contention in this series of posts has been that each place has a characteristic contribution and a unique sound to make, and that each individual has a testimony, a life-message, to share with the world.  It is not about the few, but the many – each one has a part to play.  As Delirious? sang not long ago, its time to ‘break the silence’:  we are ‘citizens with a secret in our hands that could ignite our shadow lands – light it up and let it go! Let it shine with love and grace and a re-design, a ray of hope for the common man…’ 

But we do not often have the confidence to do that.  Perhaps we are not sure that we have been sent…  We find it hard to share meaningfully, because it will make us vulnerable.  Maybe we haven’t really experienced the joy we are meant to be talking about! Maybe we dont know how to meet or connect with people around us in a relevant way.  Certainly the old ways of doing ‘street work’ and ‘evangelism’ leave most of us cringing!  And sometimes our stories are not joyful, but painful…. but our friends and neighbours need to hear those stories too.   It is in our weakness that the grace and goodness, the redemptive power of God, is fully seen – as we identify with them and don’t pretend to have it all worked out.

I remember years ago being sent out on door-to-door work.  I hated it – and I am an extrovert!  I hate it when people knock on my door, for a start!  As Bono says in his great song ‘Breathe:  ’16th June, 9.05, door bell rings, man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer, there’s three things I need you to know…three!  Coming from a long line of traveling sales-people on my mother’s side, I wasn’t gonna buy just anyone’s cockatoo, so why would I invite a complete stranger into my home? would you?  These days are better than that, these days are better than that…’   They are better than that!  The song goes on to encourage us to ‘walk out into the street, with arms out, got a love you can’t defeat.’  No to religion, yes to breathing space!  God had the last laugh on me after that evening door-knocking though: out of however many doors between us all, the one man who ended up joining the church was one of my doors! Absolutely no credit to me! 

But we know it is not about formulae, but about sharing life and love.  We are being led out into the street, and we are being called to make a sound – whether through community action or social events or mercy or mission, ‘Healing on the Streets’, Street Pastors… or as I am discovering, joining interest groups, making friends and just being myself! Its not about standing on street corners holding up a Bible and preaching judgement.  The call is to be witnesses to what we know and sing the song of the redeemed for others to hear – the sound of many voices telling the stories of life and the ‘hidden church bells’ ringing out across the land.

You will think I am being paid by certain rock stars, but the message of life and the prophetic is so often heard from stadium platforms and in writing, art and music  🙂 Here is another song I love from Bruce Springsteen…

I was tryin’ to find my way home, but all I heard was a drone
Bouncing off a satellite, crushin’ the last lone American night

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?

I was spinnin’ ’round a dead dial, just another lost number in a file
Dancin’ down a dark hole, just searchin’ for a world with some soul

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm

I want a thousand guitars
I want pounding drums
I want a million different voices speaking in tongues

Bruce Springsteen, Radio Nowhere, from the album Magic

“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me… and his voice was like the sound of many waters”  Revelation 1v12, 15.  That’s the voice the world needs to hear!

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About Sally Ann

True-story teller - words and pictures
This entry was posted in Quotable quotes, Rejoicing, Something to say. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A million different voices

  1. Mark Ash says:

    Thanks for this Sally Ann. Only last night I was thinking that I’d like to start up a book group for my street, to share life and a love of books. The business of today swept away that idea but having read your blog today I am going ahead with the idea.
    Thanks
    Mark

  2. Jo Bentham says:

    Yes Yes Yes SA.

  3. Angie Tinnion says:

    Love it! We need provoking…….

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