(This is the first entry of my new daily devotional project.)

“A book is barely an object; it is a tender presence fashioned from words, the secret echoes of the mind.” ~ John O’Donohue

As I tried to come up with a name for this project, I wanted to find another word for “reflection”. I will be posting writings on a daily basis, and in a sense, they are reflections. They represent my putting into words these things that I’ve been carrying around with me for a long time, in the hopes that you’ll read them and find encouragement. So “reflection” would be a fine name.

But “echo” seems to fit so much better. It hearkens back to being a kid and yelling down into a well behind my Granddaddy’s house, fascinated by the voice I heard yelling back, my own yet somehow different from the voyage below. All those cartoons featuring a character yelling “Hello down there!” Into a canyon, only to hear “Hello up there!” In return. An echo reminds us that we are here right now, at this particular time. But also, at a deeper level, we are something more.

As a guitarist, one of my favorite effects to use is called an echo. When you add an echo effect to your sound, whatever you play will be repeated back at a preset rhythm. Done properly, the notes that are repeated back to you take on a life of their own. You jam with this other musician, who is really just yourself from a few moments prior. Artists like The Edge, David Gilmour, and Ed Sheehan have made a name for themselves using this technique. Modern worship music wouldn’t sound the same without it. In Third Day, songs such as “Alien” and “I Can Feel It” came to life through use of an echo effect.

“Echoes” also reminded me of John O’Donohue, one of my favorite authors. His first book is titled Eternal Echoes, and the quote above comes from that book’s prologue. I don’t know if these words will ever become part of a book, but they are definitely a “tender presence” from the “secret echoes” of my mind.

Most importantly, though, I believe life itself is an echo. God spoke creation into being, and if we listen carefully enough, we can still hear the echoes of that divine Word. Every creative act is an echo of God’s, and our very lives are an echo of worship back to our Creator.

My prayer is that these words will meet you wherever you are, and that you will join me in an echo of praise to God.