Last year I was asked to write a little essay for my church's newsletter. I was told it could be anything about my faith experience. In a moment of weakness, I choked out a "Yes, I'll write something." The following essay is what ended up on paper. I was reminded of this essay last week when I had coffee with a new friend. In the context of sharing a story about advice she had given a relative, my friend spoke words... words that I really needed to hear... words that were lovingly direct. The words were coming out of my friend's mouth, but as far as I'm concerned, I definitely heard God speaking. I continue to be amused, grateful, and delighted that God is so creative in engaging with me.
Often I imagine God is walking around with a huge network, finger pressed to ‘redial’ saying, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” I am able to hear God…sometimes.
I am able to hear God when I do the dishes and sometimes when I cook, but never when I do laundry.
I am able to hear God when I go for a run, take a shower, and when I drive somewhere by myself.
On a sunny day last summer, I think I heard God answer one of my BIG LIFE questions, but it makes me nervous and uneasy. So, maybe I won’t totally acknowledge it yet. (This might be considered ‘denying the call.’)
I am able to hear God when I hold a baby, hold my husband’s hand, and when I stare at my children while they sleep.
Last February, I heard God say, loud and clear, through my panic and fear, high upon the side of a flat-topped pyramid, “You need to let go of her hand.” An internal, spiritual & emotional, power struggle ensued: The parental primal need to protect vs. the power of faith to literally “Let Go and Let God.” I still haven’t quite recovered from that surrendering episode.
I am able to hear God when I play the piano, walk or have coffee with a friend, and sometimes when I read a book, or hear a song.
I am able to hear God when I eat lunch by myself, mow the lawn, and paint the porch.
I’ve heard God calling my name in the middle of the night. At least I think it was God. It definitely wasn’t my husband or children; They were sound asleep. I didn’t realize in the moment that the voice was God and so I turned over and drifted back to sleep myself. I wish I’d had the where-with-all to say, “Yes, I’m listening.”
I am able to hear God when I go to the beach to walk , or look for stones and shells, or to just breathe in the view.
I am able to hear God when I’m doing so many other things, but rarely am I able to hear God when I pray.
Lately, I am able to hear God more clearly when I sit down with a pen and a blank piece of paper. With a grateful and open heart and no preconceived notions of how the writing should evolve, I am enlightened in some wonderfully unexpected ways. The writing, itself, is not stellar, but it doesn’t need to be . The process has become an engaging prayer. I experience more of a ‘dialogue’ with God this way and the personal/ spiritual connection is deep and scary and intriguing.
My faith in and relationship with God is a work in progress. I am still learning, yearning, and trying to understand it all ~ it is hard and frustrating at times, especially when I can’t hear God. But, I know from a place deep inside my soul that even if I can’t hear God, God can always hear me. And, I am so thankful that God is forgiving and persistent and endlessly creative in trying to connect with me. “Can you hear me now?”