When the Music Stops

 I can’t see you.

I was out on a run this evening when her message arrived.  Having nearly runner-728219_640completed the first mile of a gentle three-mile run, I was feeling pretty good.

The music in my headphones suddenly stopped and the harsh clang of the message indicator hammered my eardrums.  I glanced down at my phone, held tightly in the plastic-and-velcro carrier on my arm.  The Lovely Lady had words for me.

I stopped.  When she talks, I listen.  Well, most of the time, I listen.  Sometimes, I just appear to be listening.  Perhaps, we’ll leave that subject for another day.

She couldn’t see my progress along the route on which I was running.  The fitness program I use not only tells me how far and fast I’ve run, it sends a GPS signal to other interested parties, showing where I am.

She’s interested.  I’m only half-teasing when I say she needs to know where to send the ambulance.

But tonight, she couldn’t see me.

I  made a change or two to the phone while standing alongside the road, sending a message back right before trotting on my way.

“Can you see me now?”

It took a few moments for her negative reply to arrive, but I was already back to full speed, and didn’t want to stop again.  I sent a curt, almost insensitive message.

“I’m just going to keep running.  Sorry.”

The problem is fixed now, so there shouldn’t be a repeat of her trepidation the next time I head out to feed the fitness bug.  

She needs to see me.

I know the feeling.

There are days, a lot like today—no, just like today—when I stop in the midst of all the commotion and overpowering sense of futility, and say the words.  Sometimes, I say them right out loud—sometimes I shout them in the vacuum of my spirit.

Where are you, God?  In all of this—this pointless exertion—are You here?

I can’t see Him.

On top of the commotion, a longtime friend’s mother was laid to rest today; and a young lady, whose acquaintance I made a few years back when she attended the local university, sent news that her father passed away early this morning. Another friend is grieving the loss of her granddaughter, only a year old.

I can’t speak for them.  I simply know it is at times like these when I want most to know that God is near.  And it is, for some strange reason, at times like these when I can’t see Him.

I can’t see Him.

And the music, which is the joy of life, has stopped.  Either that, or I just can’t hear the sweet melodies and harmonies in my ears like I could before.  Regardless, the silence is unbearable.

Blind and deaf, I stand—wondering if I’ll ever see Him again—uncertain if the sweet music will ever begin again.

It’s funny.  If you stand in darkness and silence for awhile, the senses are sharpened.  

Even now, I can almost hear the whisper—if I try.

I will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I won’t leave you as orphans.  The world won’t see me, but you will. (John 14:18-19)

Even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, nothing evil will touch you. (Psalm 23:4)

The longer we listen to the whisper of His voice, the easier it is to hear.  In the quiet, He speaks to our spirits.  

We only have to listen.

Still.  I want to see Him.

I’m remembering today that we’re not home yet.  Here, we see dimly.  

There?  Face to face.  Clearly.

On that day, with our loved ones (if they were His followers), we’ll see Him.

What a glorious thought!

We’ll see Him.

That’s funny.  I think I can hear music again, too.  You know, there’ll be music in that place, as well.  The thought brings joy.

I want to see Him.  He does give glimpses here at times.  Enough to give us courage.  And strength.

So, I’ll keep walking.

You too?

We could walk together.

I’d like that.



So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
(2 Corinthians 5:6-9 ~ ESV)



Open our eyes Lord
We want to see Jesus,
To reach out and touch Him
And say that we love Him.
(from Open Our Eyes, Lord ~ Robert Cull ~ American pastor/songwriter) 




© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “When the Music Stops

  1. When I can’t see him and the darkness closes in, I just lean against his everlasting arms. Because I do believe he’s there. He promised and he’s never broken a promise. Never.

    Loved your post.

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