In the echoes.
A few days ago, a poet told me he believes we all are echoes.
Reverberating waves moving outward from the original words that set the world spinning.
Continuous repetition of the voice of God.
I’ve been reading lately about the voice of God.
The Voice that spoke mountains, that named waterfalls, that gave songs to birds and to stars.
The single Voice that gave us life, that continues to give us life.
The Voice we spend so much time attempting to drown out.
Two weeks ago, I was hiking in the Grand Canyon. I had so many honest and unoriginal thoughts about the awe and the wonder and the vastness of a place like that. Mostly, I was at a loss for words. Wow was my syllable of choice, uttered every now and then as a reminder to myself that I existed.
I had no cell service and no other options but to consider the kind of power it would take to carve a canyon.
There are a lot of things in my life that seem huge right now. No matter how far I stretch I still can’t seem to see around any of them. But in the Grand Canyon all of those things seemed to be as tiny as I felt.
When my poet friend started talking about echoes, these cosmic reminders of our purpose, I immediately recalled the well-marked echo chambers tucked into the corners of the canyon. Small signs served as acknowledgements that those were places where any voice would be heard.
Mostly shouted HELLOs filled the echo-y notches in the endless walls of stone, reminders on even the sparsest parts of the trails that life was happening all around us.
I think of those hollow-sounding greetings, and I can't help but remember the faces and stories of people we met along that same rocky path. The echoes of creativity and beauty I heard in laughter as we compared blisters and snack options. There in the canyon we lacked so many of the things that make beauty and grace hard to spot. Our phones were buried somewhere in our backpacks. No recognition was given to the things that separate, only to the beauty and the challenge of the trails that united us.
And my smallness, the feeling of sheer insignificance that nearly knocked me over when I first experienced it, became a gift that day. The things that had stood so tall and imposing before me were still standing, are still standing, and I still can’t quite see around them. But now I know that my own small story has a place alongside so many others, that their echoes are contributing to the beauty I see in each day.
My poet friend told me that sound waves function the same as light waves. That if we are all echoes, we need to keep celebrating beauty and grace, no matter how dark it gets. He said that’s the only way we can stop the darkness, by being light. By echoing the voice of our Maker.
I’ve never heard God speak in complete sentences. But I’m learning to listen for Him in the echoes of life. To step back from mountains I’m not yet meant to climb and see the beauty of the stories surrounding me. To listen to the echoes and look for the beauty they bring.