Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.
Ua hoʻolohe kaʻu poʻe hipa i koʻu leo,
My sheep hear my voice, and I know
He manaʻo o ke kahu
As a husband, makua, kumu, kaʻi, and kahu I have ample opportunities to speak into people’s lives. I have been trained, certified, and most importantly, given spiritual gifts that help me be a positive communicator of God’s love for all. However, my most blessed title is Tūtū Kane for two beautiful and endearing moʻopuna who live in Kohala with their nā makua. These precious gifts from ke Akua have positively impacted my relationship building skills. They are my greatest teachers who have given me a second chance to reflect on how to intentionally speak kindly so that my ʻike aloha is received with joy. Last month we traveled up North to visit our daughter, her husband and their two cherished keiki at their hale at Niuliʻi. Although our oldest moʻopuna, Welokealohaikaʻōnohi, was visiting at his aunty’s house, my excitement was restored because our youngest, Kaulumanu Waiākalei, had just woken up from her nap. Only two months away from her 1st birthday, she enjoys being the pearl of our ʻohana.
I fondly remember her birth because when it was my turn to hold her in my arms, Kaulumanu was a little fussy. She was just adapting to her new setting because every newborn’s eyesight is not focused, and they can only see people or things as shapes and shadows. Therefore, their makua’s voice becomes their pathway to recognizing who’s who in their environment. As her tiny body squirmed around in my hands, I was able to settle her spirit by softly singing a mele, “For The Lāhui” in her ear. As I sang her face changed from furled eyebrows to one of inquisitive tranquility. As she listened to my voice, she began cooing, and her serenading continued as I spoke to her with my gentle Tūtū voice. This became our greeting ritual for the next 5 months each time our families got together, me singing and her crooning back to me. As a result, during this recent visit all I had to do to elicit her enchanting singing was to call out her name! She reached out her arms to be held and her beautiful smile and big brown eyes captivated my heart. She certainly knows her Tutu’s voice!
Shepherds give us a unique insight into this ability of helping their flock distinguish their voice from other shepherds. These outdoor custodians are very familiar with the uniqueness of each of their ewes, rams and their lambs that they are all given names as a sign of acknowledgment and favor. The sheep trust the fidelity of their shepherd’s care and quickly learn the sound of their caretaker’s gentle voice so, when their shepherd calls the herd only his sheep will move towards the direction of their master.
How does our Savior call us? The prophet Zephaniah explains that our Father in heaven rejoices over us with singing. This is exactly who we respond to because our God fully delights in us. We are collectively God’s children, and our God knows us each by name. Moreover, like infants who are fully known, fully loved and inherently know the gentle voice of their parents, we too learn to respond to the sweet sound of our Master’s voice. So, how do we learn to differentiate God’s voice from the world’s message?
We come to recognize our Master’s voice, by spending time with Jesus our Shepherd King. A daily reliance on God’s presence within us produces an inherent move towards God’s voice of love. When we devote a portion of each day to read, reflect, and apply God’s truth to our lives we draw closer to ke Akua. By trusting in God’s voice of love and God’s word with our whole heart and refraining from trying to figure out everything on our own means we have confidence in Jesus Christ to protect and care for us.
This week, ponder one of these topics each day:
1. Memorize John 10:27-28 and use it in your daily prayers this week as a guide for your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
2. Reflect on a time in your life when your speech towards another person was filled with gentle love. What happened and how did the other person receive it? How did their response impact you?
3. During this current national political climate, we have witnessed conflicting messages from high ranking government officials. How does knowing God’s voice, will, and word help you to discern what is righteous from what is not?
4. Read John 11:38-44. With his voice, Jesus proclaims his deepest compassion for Lazarus and his sovereign power over the grave. This story is a foreshadowing for all of us who put their faith in the one and only Christ Jesus.
5. Pray for hear God’s gentle voice each day to help you navigate each day’s blessings.
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