Friday, May 22, 2009

Hearing God?

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.

Hearing God?

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?” 

7 comments:

Linda said...

This entry moved me to tears. Thank you for putting such complex feelings into words.

bwk said...

I'm so touched that it moved you. I cried a puddle of tears writing it.

Heather said...

:) This is amazing.... I'm really learning what it means for me to really hear God .. in all the crazy modes he chooses to speak to me!!
I loved reading this!

bwk said...

Heather, you found my blog :) I guess it wasn't that hard... I'm glad you liked the essay!

Marianne said...

I just had a chance to read your post. Someone should have warned me not to read it at work! I am not only crying tears of joy... I am sure that I hear God in your message. Beautiful.

Rev. Elsa Peters said...

It's nice to see this again, Betsy. Thanks for being willing to share this with your church.

Spottedstar said...

hmmmmmm, i like it!