I recently found myself in the deep abyss of Instagram.
In an obscure and bizarre corner of the interwebs that honestly, was so fascinating, I couldn’t look away.
Nothing seedy — get your mind out of the gutter. Just straight up strange.
It was Thursday night, 11pm, I was just doing nothing before going to bed. I had read a Buzzfeed article which led me into the deep unknown.
It led me into the world of ASMR.
For those of you, who, like me, thought this was some sort of medical jargon for an upper respiratory breathing machine, let me be the first to inform you — it is most certainly not that.
It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Or in other words, the “shivers” or “tingles” you get in your brain when you hear a particularly pleasant sound.
Not everyone gets these said “tingles.” — I for one, definitely do not. But apparently, people do, because there is a huge hidden ASMR community online.
And they post videos — with tens of millions of views — of them eating with these suuuuper high quality, expensive microphones, capturing every saliva smack, and satisfying crunch. Or they’ll post videos of them tapping different random objects. Or scratching different things. All to create pleasant sounds.
I spent twenty minutes listening to this “ASMR Celebrity” – LifeWithMaK — eat honeycomb. And then I snapped out of it and thought, What the heck am I doing with my life right now?!
And look, I get it – a lot of people find it soothing, and it is said to help reduce anxiety, or help people fall asleep. So look — if that is your cuppa tea…more power to ya!
But as I was sitting there watching this random chick crunch pickles into the microphone, something suddenly became very apparent to me….
Are we afraid of silence?
Are we afraid of being alone with our thoughts? Are we frightened of having time to reflect — on our existence? On our life and our choices? On God?
We fill our minds and our ear buds with so much noise, that we’re making it impossible for God’s gentle whisper to be heard. And we’re doing so willingly! To the point where we’re literally choosing to listen to people chew! so as not to be left alone with our own thoughts.
The whole situation left me unsettled, and frankly, a little weirded out.
So I cleared my browser history.
But going about my week, I didn’t think about this until Sunday evening, when I was sitting in church.
Because wouldn’t you know — the gospel reading was about the miracle of Jesus making the deaf man hear.
It’s Mark 7:31-37 in case you want to read it.
But in the passage, Jesus puts His finger in the deaf man’s ear and says,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
And sitting there in the pew, I couldn’t help but think about my little run in with those bizarre ASMR videos.
Whenever I hear one of these iconic stories from the bible, I always like to picture myself in the story with Jesus. I mean, that’s probably because I’m a raging narcissist and need to work of self-awareness. Too much?? I digress.
I was imagining myself as the deaf man.
And I think that when we hear these stories from the bible, we can fall into the trap of taking them too literally.
You and I aren’t deaf. So, great story bro…but how’s it relate to me??
Well here’s the unpopular truth:
In actuality, we are all deaf.
We all have some sort of “block” in our ears that impede us from hearing God’s Voice. We all have so much noise in our lives — be it the media or music we’re injesting. Or the fast pace of our lives. Our busyness. Our fears. We’ve created lives and a society where silence is a scarcity!
But it made me realize how rare it is to just be quiet. To put yourself in a situation where God doesn’t have to compete with a podcast, or with the TV, or with a person freaking chewing on honeycomb!
God doesn’t shout at us, because He want us to want Him. He want us to seek Him out — He’ll never be overbearing or aggressive with making His presence known — even though He’s always there.
This was honestly one of the biggest parts of my recovery from anorexia.
I had spent those years in my disease absolutely blocking out His voice. My mind was always racing with suffocating, obsessive thoughts about food, or exercise, or keeping the deception going. I never sought Him out…until that one life changing day at Inpatient, that I went into great detail about on the Among the Lilies Podcast last week, and that I share about in my book, Bloom.
But it was that one day that I realized that I absolutely cannot recover without Jesus. And I had to actively — every single day — show up at the foot of the Cross and place my life — place my recovery — in His hands. And to take His hand, and walk with Him along every step of the often terrifying and difficult journey.
I made it, because Jesus was walking me – and oftentimes carrying me – through it.
Maybe that’s what I need to pray for tonight — that Jesus literally stick His finger in my ear and clear out all the gunk that can accumulate from time to time — all the negativity or self doubt, anxiety, busyness, and noise — and open my ears.
Because at the end of the day…His voice is the best, most soothing remedy we can get. And it definitely beats a gal chomping on a cruciferous vegetable.
See ya tomorrow morning on my Podcast, Oh What a Beautiful Morning!!
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