When You Need Answers, Look Up

“Grace pouring forth like a fountain flowing
Our hearts open wide to sing your praise.
And our sound becomes sweet
with Your anthems ringing
Praise to the Name
of the Lord.”
Fernando Ortega “Sing Allelu,” “The Odes Project,” 2008

Fernando Ortega is one of the most worshipful song leaders I’ve ever heard; his praise music and original hymns are favorites because of the beautiful melodies and powerful words. Hearing him sing live a few years ago fed this singer’s heart; his presence at the piano stirred and inspired. (You may have heard him sing, “Just Give Me Jesus” as a tribute for Ruth Bell Graham.)

After a recent road trip where “The Odes” CD accompanied me, I had “Sing Allelu” coursing through my spirit, with one word in particular: “anthem.”
Curious about its meaning, I found out (no surprise to many of you) it is from the Greek, ‘antiphon’–sounding in answer, a voice in return, a hymn of praise.’ All of creation was made to ‘answer back’ to the Creator; why? I wondered.

     I am desperate during these busy summer days to stitch together any minutes I can to take just.slow.down.

     Slow down, if not with an actual Sabbath break, but with a Sabbath heart. A heart that leans towards God, asking questions like,

  • “Why do daylilies shoot skyward?bbd77-dsci0003
    • “Why do tree limbs head up and out?”                                                                                                                   e24ae-dsci0538                               
  • “How do clouds stay stacked up-up-up as they scud across the blue?”                                                                              e83f5-31_3

Why indeed?  They are ‘answering back’ to their Creator.
      May we ever do the same.

(this is a significantly edited post from four Julys ago).

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8 thoughts on “When You Need Answers, Look Up

  1. Such lovely images–especially that sky. And the thought of creation answering back to its creator is challenging in the best way. Thanks for sharing your words and photos. I think I’ll just open up iTunes and start up one of Fernando Ortega’s hymn CDs.

    1. thank you for the comments, Natalie…It is a challenge to keep our hearts and minds up-ward and out-ward towards God. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit that whispers when we need it.(and enjoy Fernando–always ministers to me!)

  2. loved reading this tonight. You captured and mirror much I have been writing about this week too. slowing down to be with God but especially like how you connected our anthems/praises to nature. Lovely post!

    1. Jean, I’m so glad these words ministered to you. God has so much to fill us up with when we stop and let Him speak. thanks for coming by!

  3. ‘Loved this post for its uplifting, worship-inducing thoughts. Just this week one of my deck discoveries* was how the leaves of the black walnut tree seem to clap together in the breeze–due to their long, slender shape and many leaflets, no doubt. They merrily swing back and forth like bells, ringing in opposite arcs. ‘Reminded me of Isaiah 55:12: “All the trees of the field will clap their hands.” I imagined that God could actually hear them, celebrating their Maker. Surely all of creation is continually singing his praises! *Observations, epiphanies, etc. while basking in our backyard beauty–thanks to your inspiration, Jody!

    1. oh, this makes my heart happy, Nancy. There is so much of God we can begin to see all around us if we just look and listen. I wish I could see your part of the country–I bet it’s beautiful….

      1. Now my happiness is increased because your heart is happy! 🙂 Hope your birthday is/was ecstatically wonderful!

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