Linking the Science of Senses to the Deeper Needs of Our Soul: “Hearing Ultrasonic Sounds and the Whispers of God.”

Leonardo DaVinci once said, “The five senses are the ministers of the soul.” Every moment of every day we use these to help us navigate and experience the world around us. As scientists study the human body, we have gained a greater understanding of how each sense is used to help us gain information. Ongoing investigations continue to demonstrate how each one positively impacts our health and wellbeing. As a Christian, when I read or hear about some of these scientific studies I am often struck by the way God uses our senses to understand who He is and how He created us. This week we will take a brief look at a few of these and relate them to a familiar passage of Scripture to see how they can illuminate and refresh our perspectives.


“Hearing Ultrasonic Sounds and the Whispers of God.”

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:20-21

sound_wavesDisabling hearing loss affects 360 million individuals globally and about a third of people over the age of 65, according to the World Health Organization. In the US, nearly half of those over age 75 suffer significant hearing loss. For decades, researchers have been perfecting incredible devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants and working hard to develop medications that can help people gain the ability to hear.

Even if we have the ability to hear, we cannot possibly tune into everything in our environment. Audiologists tell us that the human ear only has the potential to hear between 20 and 20,000Hz, but this range decreases as we age. There are certain frequencies that we can only hear when we are young because they are out of range as we age.

Not long ago, we heard a lot about new, ultrasonic ring tones, which have frequencies above 17,500Hz. Since these can only be heard by people below the age of 20, teens began downloading them onto their phones so that adults could not hear the alert from a text, email or phone call. Interestingly, these same tones were used by some ingenious older person to create a device that emits these sounds so that this same age group will be deterred instead of drawn. He called his tone the Mosquito because the sound it produces resembles a swarm of mosquitos. The developer says that unlike a ring tone, when this sound is played nonstop it begins to irritate the listener so much that they are driven away. He markets it to business owners who have had a problem with young vandals or thieves or loiterers.

Sounds have a way of doing that. They invite us to stick around or they can instantly repel us. I remember waiting in line to get on a ride with my kids at Disneyworld. One minute they were singing along to pirate music and happily moving forward and the very next one of them squealed, “Make it stop!” Instead of hearing the music, he had tuned into a loud clanging sound coming from the large black chains banging against the poles that separated the lines. Once he heard it, we all heard it. In order to keep him from literally running away, I had to keep redirecting him toward the delightful melody we could still hear overhead instead of the clamorous sounds all around us.

Although it is solely by God’s grace that we have been given the ability to hear God and know Him as our Lord, every day we get to choose where we direct our ears. There are many sounds in our midst. Some try to tickle our ears while others play a rhythmic melody to lure us in to lingering a little longer. Among these sounds, lie the ultrasonic whispers of our Heavenly Father who invites you and me to stop and take a listen to His voice. As we wind our way through life, He has much to say to us through His word and by His Spirit. For those who have been given ears to hear, let us hear.