by Pastor Ralph J. Mineo
There’s a famous painting (completed in 1899) by English artist Francis Barraud of a dog (named Nipper) looking into an old-fashioned phonograph player. The name of the painting, which inspired a well-known music industry logo, is “His Master’s Voice.”
Barraud said: “It is difficult to say how the idea came to me beyond the fact that it suddenly occurred to me that to have my dog listening to the phonograph, with an intelligent and rather puzzled expression, and call it ‘His Master’s Voice’ would make an excellent subject. We had a phonograph and I often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from. It certainly was the happiest thought I ever had.”
I’ve always liked that painting. The dog recognized its master’s voice even when the master wasn’t physically present.
How blessed we are when we’re acquainted enough with God to know how to hear and recognize the divine voice speaking to us!
How blessed we are when we recognize God’s voice of comfort and healing when pain and suffering strike.
How blessed we are when challenge and confusion strike us, and we’re able to pick the Master’s voice out of the voices of “the crowd.”
How blessed we are when involved in sinful behavior, we hear (and heed!) the Master’s voice to repent.
How might we better become acquainted with God’s voice? Spend time with God in silence, in private prayer. Spend time with others in public worship, in the fellowship of the church. Spend time with God reading, studying, and reflecting on the Sacred Scriptures.
Sometimes it’s easy, but sometimes it’s hard work to hear God’s voice. We’re at our best when we’re willing to put the time and effort into such listening!
Listen! In good days, God speaks joy, gladness, hope.
In days of darkness and depression, God speaks comfort, compassion, light.
In days of loneliness, God speaks divine companionship, friendship, love.
In days of decision, God speaks insight, truth, wisdom.
In days of disobedience and sinfulness, God speaks judgment, repentance, forgiveness.
In days of death and dying, God speaks assurance, peace, eternal life.
Everyday, God speaks grace, saying: “I love you.”
That’s our Master’s voice! Listen! Listen! Listen!