Now that it’s spring and the windows are open, I find myself having to retrain my hearing. Yesterday I was washing dishes while both of the kids were napping and I thought I heard whimpering. I stopped what I was doing to listen more attentively and realized it was the neighbor’s dog. (The neighbors didn’t have a dog last spring, so I imagine this might happen more often.) Minutes before the dog whimpering, I mistook sounds on the radio for a crying baby.
Maybe my hearing is going. Or maybe as a mother my ears are just more tuned to the sound of crying. It’s incredible, really, how I can almost completely ignore the sound of someone else’s crying baby because the baby doesn’t sound like mine but then jump to attention at a sound that isn’t crying but sounds similar.
Am I that in tune to the voice of God?
Sometimes, I forget what He sounds like. So many “voices” compete for our attention and not all of them are bad. Many sound like God but when we stop and tune our ears, we realize it’s something else.
A few weeks ago while reading family devotions, Phil lowered his voice instead of competing with Isabelle’s volume. It worked. She got quieter, too. Maybe that’s why God’s presence is compared to a “gentle whisper” when Elijah meets him at the mouth of the cave. (1 Kings 19:10-11) Maybe God wants us to quiet ourselves in order to hear Him.
When I’m listening for my children’s cries, it’s because I don’t want to delay in responding. How quick do I respond to God when He calls? When I read about Samuel responding first to Eli, then to the Lord (1 Samuel 3:1-10) I imagine him quietly waiting for his master’s command, jumping up when he hears it and running to him to await further instruction.
Whisper. Quiet. Waiting. Listening. These are not the words that describe the world in which we live.
So, I wonder, what are we missing?