Several years go I was wrestling with a problem at work, trying to figure out how to deal with a difficult co-worker.
At a parish meeting that night, a woman on our spirituality committee asked what was troubling me.
I took a risk, opened my heart to the freckled, redheaded woman offering me her ear, and spilled out my concerns. Her response was matter of fact, “Have you talked to God about it? What does he have to say to you?”
Until I met that caring redhead, I’d never heard the voice of God. I didn’t even know God had a voice.
So, I looked her straight in the eye and replied:
“Seriously? You’re either on drugs or you’ve got something I want!”
“What’s that?” she asked.
“The ability to hear God’s voice.”
That chance encounter became a turning point in my life, an epiphany. I realized for the first time that God did have a voice and we can learn to hear and experience it.
Since that time, others have mentored me on how to create space for God, how to attune myself to God’s voice like tuning a guitar. My Quiet time I call it—where I light a candle, sit in my den as the morning slowly fades over the dawn’s darkness and converse with God.
It’s not like we have an audible conversation. Rather, it’s a sense there is a Presence there with me. A loving Spirit I can talk to and to whom I can listen.
Sometimes I hear the Voice when I sit in the Quiet and other times I just hear the Quiet. Both feed and nourish my Soul with peace.
Various people and faith traditions call the voice of God by diverse names: Wisdom, Holy Spirit; Inner Voice of Love; the Great Spirit; Yahweh, among others. In the Christian tradition, God promised to place the Voice of God within each of our Souls by sending us the Holy Spirit.
Learning to hear the Voice of God is much like learning a new language. With practice and quiet reflection we slowly begin to recognize the words, images, and symbols God uses to speak to us.
Sometimes God’s voice comes from a place deep within our hearts as we sit in the Quiet. Other times God speaks through the written word, other people, or nature.
When we sense God’s Presence we often experience it as a simple word or metaphor that rises up within us, more from the heart than from the head. A Depth. A Knowing.
I love you is the tenor of each tone we hear from God. I love you too is the heart’s response expressing gratitude for the Presence—the Inner Voice of God speaking within our Souls.
Ponder this week:
Do you believe God has a voice—that God speaks to you?
How do you experience God’s Voice?
How do you create space for you and God to talk?