When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the notion that there was a time when God actually had straight up conversations with people and wondered why God no longer did that kind of thing.
However, when I asked my Sunday school teachers about this, I was simply told, "That's the way it was in the Bible, not today." I get the feeling a lot of people were taught or told the same thing.
But what if it wasn't? What if the way the patriarchs and the kings and the prophets who heard a "word from the Lord," wasn't through the audible voice of God?
What if those words came to them the way they seem to come to us--through moments of revelation, deep conviction, and powerful feelings?
What if the words from the Lord came to them when they were reading Scripture, or when they were lost in prayer and praise? Or through the words of a trusted advisor or friend?
Listen, for those of you who might be troubled by what I just asked, I'm not saying that God didn't or couldn't speak in an audible voice... don't get your underwear bunched, it's all good.
What I am wondering is if maybe God has always been speaking in a thousand different ways other than an audible voice.
And maybe the problem we have with hearing what God is saying has everything to do with us, and not with God?
You see, even though some days (like today) I feel so strongly that God is speaking to me in very particular ways, most days I feel like I can't hear a thing.
I'm beginning to realize more and more that I'm the reason I can't hear--that I'm not ready to receive a word from the Lord, or I'm too busy, weary, self-obsessed or I'm too enamored with listening to myself talk.
But today I got the message loud and clear. Out of the dozen or so books that I read through each day, exactly a dozen or so of them contained a message that I absolutely needed to hear... right now.
This morning I was raw, vulnerable and open to listening. I've been trying to surrender my outcomes to God, to trust that God knows what God is doing, and in the midst of that struggle I know I was listening more intently.
Richard Rohr writes:
What we are able to see, and are predisposed to see, in the outer world is a mirror reflection of our own inner world and state of consciousness at that time.
May you have ears that are opened to hear God speaking in all the ways God is speaking. May you have a spirit in tune with the frequency of the Divine. May you have a heart softened and ready to listen intently for a word from the Lord.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.