His Still Small Voice
Sometimes I think that in order to hear God’s voice I have to draw apart from my daily life and be immersed in silence. Perhaps others may share a similar belief. Making time for intentional prayer and silence are of course necessary for our relationship with God. But this past summer I had an experience of God that came as a delightful surprise and has lingered with me, and it didn’t occur in the chapel.
One night as I walked into my room I was met with the familiar cacophony of blaring music and police sirens coming in through my window. But as I came closer, I also detected a very different sound. Somehow, in spite of the chaos outside, I heard the faint, steady song of a cricket. My backyard growing up was surrounded by large trees and so the sound of crickets has always been familiar and nostalgic to me. I delight in their rhythmic chirps. This is why I soon found myself straining against the window screen to enjoy this solitary cricket, and to simultaneously filter out all the other noises.
I then sensed that the Lord had something to show me in this. I realized this experience was an analogy for life. In our busyness and distraction, it’s all too easy to live on the surface, being pushed and pulled by the loudest noises around us. We skim through our days and become consumed by passing things- even good things. We are often swept along by the current of life.
But our loving Father invites us to a different way. He is not only found in monasteries and weeklong retreats, wonderful as these things may be. He is found right here, within the daily fabric of our lives! His voice and His heart are always present, waiting for us beneath the surface. He desires to speak with us. It is easy to perceive exterior noise, but how often do we stop to gauge the level of interior noise within our hearts? More than needing a monastery in order to hear God, we need to cultivate our interior monastery. God’s still, small voice that we hear of in Scripture is like that humble cricket outside my window. He waits, in love, for us to tune our hearts to the sound of His whisper. He wants us to become attentive and sensitive to His Presence. He wants to speak words to us that are very different from how we usually think as we rush through the day. The Father has words for us that will bring us life.
Learning to recognize His voice doesn’t happen overnight. But the grace is there, for each one of us, like an unopened gift. He awaits only our desire to begin the journey.
Sr. Thérèse, CFR