The modern era lost a great poet this week with the passing of Maya Angelou. Like other artists in history, Angelou used a medium to communicate a message to her audience. Her medium was primarily in the forms of poetry and prose. For the most part, her message communicated hope to her audience.
But as Christians, we must be wise in considering the message. Does it reveal truth? We should consider the messenger, but don’t let the message pass untested because of our admiration for the messenger. The same is true of the medium. Just because we might love poetry, does not mean that we turn an uncritical eye to the poem.
In Angelou’s final tweet a few days before her death, she communicated a sentiment that might sound appealing to many.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
Most of us want to hear the voice of God. I also like the setting of quietude. Often we are so bombarded with the noise of this world that we miss God’s voice amongst the constant chatter.
However, this tweet has a fallacy. Her exhortation is to listen to yourself. And in listening to yourself, you might hear God. The connection between self and God is knit too closely together. If I listen to myself, I will hear myself. If I listen to God, I will hear God. I never want to get those two sources confused.
Where do we turn to hear the voice of God? We know that the psalmist taught us that the heavens declare the glory of God. In the beauty of creation, God speaks of his existence and power.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
If you want to hear the voice of God so that faith is stirred, then turn to the Scriptures.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.