“For the past seven months,” reported CNN Religion Editor, Daniel Burke, “Nick Cave, the Australian musician and songwriter, has been answering letters from fans and posting them to his website, The Red Hand Files.”
“The letters are profound and personal, even intimate. They ask about loneliness, about grief, about the voice of God. But what’s most unusual about the questions is their recipient. He’s not a pastor, psychiatrist, or even an advice columnist. He’s a rock star.
In his punk rock days, Nick Cave says, he was obsessed with the Gothic drama and wrathful God of the Old Testament, channeling His energy to hiss and spit at the world.
“I was a conduit for a God that spoke in a language written in bile and puke,” Cave said. “And for a while, that suited me fine.”
But then, Cave says, he took up the Gospels:
“I slowly reacquainted myself with the Jesus of my childhood, that eerie figure that moves through the Gospels, the man of sorrows, and it was through him that I was given a chance to redefine my relationship with the world,” Cave wrote in 1996.
Raised Anglican, Cave said he has all but given up on organized religion, yet still longs for a world infused with magic and awe.
Like a lot of artists, his spirituality is idiosyncratic and undogmatic. He believes humans are hard-wired for transcendence, which can be accessed through creativity and imagination.”
The Sound of God’s Voice
A few months ago, a fan asked Cave what the voice of God sounds like.
“Does God even have a voice, or does divinity make itself heard in other ways? Perhaps God might sound a bit like Nick Cave” the fan suggested.
The musician offered his own take on God’s voice:
“Perhaps, God would have the combined voice of all the untold billions of collected souls, an assembly of the departed speaking as one — without rancour, domination or division, a great, many-layered calling forth that rings from the heavens in the small, determined voice of a child, maybe; sexless, pure and uncomplicated — that says,
‘Look for me, I am here.'”
How have you heard the voice of God?
The Experiencing God study puts it like this:
God speaks to us by His Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
“Look for me, I am here.”
“Listen for me through all the ways I speak… I am here.”
The Invitation to Seek
Jesus invites, “come to me… learn from me… find rest for your souls.” He promises, “seek and you will find… for everyone who seeks will find…” Jeremiah uttered prophetically some 600 years before Christ, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
“Look for me, I am here.”
“Listen for me to speak into your life… I am here.”
For more, see Daniel Burke’s full article: “A rock star was asked what God’s voice sounds like. His answer is beautiful.” I take this story to be another example of the prophetic echo spoken into our day.