Do you ever wish people would just speak up? Do you ever have to ask people to repeat themselves? Does it ever seem like people are mumbling? I sometimes wonder if it is me or them. My kids often think I am not listening to them, but I really don’t hear them. Today was one of those days. I don’t think my hearing is going…I hope not. I do think I am a bit distracted and they just don’t realize I have a good number of thoughts rolling around in my head at any given time that don’t just quiet down automatically because someone walks in the room and starts talking to me.
This really isn’t new for me. I don’t know how long I’ve been this way for sure, but I remember being teased at my first job out of college for the “LP focus!” Everyone I worked with knew that if they wanted to talk to me and I was working on something, they were going to have to break that focus or I wouldn’t hear a thing they were saying to me…even if I was looking straight at them. My handsome fella could probably testify to this level of “focus”. If I am in the middle of a project or a book or a deep thought, you can talk to me but I will not hear you or even remember you said anything.
So how do you communicate with someone like that? Speak louder? Not if hearing loss isn’t the problem. Remove the distraction? Maybe, unless they are distracted by the thoughts in their head. Make eye contact and wait for them to acknowledge they are listening? That might work, but you have to be close enough to see their eyes to know that they are really focused on you and not whatever is rolling around in their head.
Have you ever wanted to hear from God and couldn’t figure out why you couldn’t hear Him? Have you ever just wished He would just speak up? Have you ever wished He would just speak louder than all the competing voices so it wouldn’t be so hard to figure out what He wants from you or what He wants for you? Have you ever asked Him to speak up? I have….recently.
This weekend He had a message for me. If you want to hear me…come closer. I know it was from Him because it came from multiple sources within hours of each other and resonated with something deep within me. And why would I need to get closer to Him to hear Him? Well, how do you hear what someone is saying to you if they are whispering? You have to be close to them…you have to seek their face! You have to step away from the noise. In order to hear a still small voice…you have to be still and come close!
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:11-13
God could speak to us any way He wants. He could yell to get our attention. He could yell across the room or the world or the universe, but He doesn’t. He whispers because He wants to be close to us when He talks to us. I like having a God that wants to be that close to His creation.