The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. – 1 Samuel 3:1-11 and 19 (NIV)

*   *   *

When you think about it, the image of words falling to the ground is striking. What happens then? Are they like fruit, which begins to rot? Or birds that may be attacked and eaten? Or rather, food for those birds and the wind? Is the ground somehow separated from the air or spirit?

From the perspective of the text, though, words have to be kept in the air to be kept alive. They need to be repeated and heard anew. It’s almost like a juggler with balls in motion. Pointedly, Samuel is in a relationship with the Holy One. Listen!

*   *   *

Today, each of us has far more words than we could ever remember. We have magazines and books and online files and notes everywhere. Some of us, who keep journals to help us retain thoughts and impressions, may want to consider much of the Bible as a series of personal journals, while others may also examine it as a spiritual workbook. Private letters. Or varied spiritual insights collected from the past.

These approaches will reveal dimensions quiet different from the strictures, laws, and commandments that are usually emphasized.

Maybe words that have fallen to the ground aren’t lost, after all, if we’re attentive. Listen, especially, when they get personal and take root.

*   *   *

Again, he limiteth a certain Day, saying, in David, To Day, after so long a Time as ’tis said, To Day if ye will hear his Voice, harden not your Hearts. True indeed, there is a Day wherein People may know the Things that concern their Souls everlasting Peace: But if they sin out this Day, afterwards those Things will be hid from their Eyes. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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