Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ― Mother Teresa

No matter what many scholars and theologians may say, no one can ever convince me that God does not still speak to us—every day.  We have to be quiet to hear Him, and we have to be receptive to the many different and varied voices He uses to communicate with us, but His word is there—if we but pay attention.  He may speak through a Facebook post or a YouTube video.  Frequently, I believe, He speaks through the voices, cries, and laughter of children.  When families gather and their love for each other is real and supportive—He speaks.  Of course He speaks through worship services but maybe not through the sermon.  His voice may be heard in a hymn, or in the sight of an elderly couple still holding hands after sixty years of marriage.  Children’s sermons frequently carry His voice, as does the sacred hush in the times when there is no one speaking or singing.  A smile from a friend in Sunday School, a hug from an old friend, a handshake that carries a deeper meaning than hello—all these things can carry the voice of God to those who are listening.  Most of us are eager to hear His word, but there are many who are reluctant to listen because they know what God will say to them and until they hear it, they can ignore His call, but He is relentless.  God speaks through random acts of kindness and intentional acts of kindness.  We are surrounded by the deafening silence of His word, comforting, encouraging, extolling, and exhorting us to action.  I have heard Him in the touch of nurses, in the genuine concern of doctors, and in the help given me by a janitor or security guard who assisted me out of the rain while in a wheelchair.  God speaks to each of us every day in colors, in sounds, in touches, in looks, in smiles, and in memories.  My father died in 2003, but he lives on in my heart and still touches me in memory and frequently speaks as an agent for a loving God—and I hear Him.  
     Some may call me crazy or unstable, but I don’t believe in the word of God, I know and feel the word of God in every fiber of my being.  We are each of us in conversation with God, every day, but many times we are not listening when He speaks, or we are too busy to be alert for His presence in our daily activities.  When I was a child, we were told to Stop, Look, and Listen at railway crossings.  I offer the same advice to you if you want a closer relationship with He who made you, loves you, and wants you to know that you are never alone.  And you can take that to the bank.

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