Thursday, October 28, 2010

How Am I Hearing from God?

Bonnie Gray over at Faith Barista has been doing a blog carnival for several weeks now, on different questions of faith. For this week, she posed this question: How am I hearing from God?

How, indeed.

I’ve pondered that question for a week; driving home from New Orleans this past weekend afforded some time to think. I realized that it’s actually easier to answer the negative form of the question, or how I don’t hear from God: I don’t hear a voice whispering inside my head, giving me instructions, and I don’t hear a voice speaking to me in the dark of night.

And then, walking to the office building where I work from the parking lot, I saw the sky pictured above, and it all became clear.

I hear God when I read his word. The books of the Bible that are the most familiar to me in this regard are Genesis, the Gospel of John and Acts.

I hear God when I look from the pavement to the sky, and see a sky that stuns me with its beauty.

I hear God when a minister who’s no longer a minister leads a devotion, and there’s pain and searching and love and wonder.

I hear God when our church music director plays Widor’s Toccata from the 5th Symphony in between services, for no reason other than the joy that fills his heart and overflows onto the keys and pedals and pipes.

I hear God when my seven-month-old grandson laughs his seven-month-old laugh.

I hear God when my wife touches my arm or my face, or we exchange a look that only we can translate.

I hear God in the emergency room on a Saturday night.

I hear God in the wind that pulsates the leaves of the trees in my backyard.

I hear God in the calls for help that came from attics in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, cries that continued after the phone batteries died, cries that continued after the voices went silent forever.

I hear God in the tears of abused women and children, in the screams of rape victims in the Sudan and the Congo, in the dying murmurs of the sick and dying in Port-au-Prince.

I hear God in the flowers.

I hear God in the shouting of the stars on the blackest night and in the waves crashing to a beach at full tide.

I hear God in the words of the poets, the paintings of the poets, the photographs of the poets and the music of the poets, because the singing won’t stop because it can’t.

I hear God in the silence of the mountains.

I hear God in the prisons of Iran and China, and in the prisons of America and Britain and France, and in the prisons of Cuba and Venezuela.

I hear God in the one voice that will stand against tyranny.

I hear God in my pastor’s sermon.

I hear God when hearts are made vulnerable, susceptible to breaking.

I hear God because I have to listen.


Michael said...

This is dead on. I would add when I listen to Switchfoot...
Sounds silly, but the lyrics are poetic and cause this as well.

Sandra Heska King said...

I hear God in your words. Not just today. But every day.

Unknown said...

This is great Glynn. So simple but I think we forget how God can speak through anything in our lives.

Unknown said...

I love this. The many ways God is always speaking to His children.

Jeff Jordan said...

I really like the different ways you state you "hear God" through the natural world. I've been thinking about that lately...trying to notice the beauty around us that screams His design. Fall is a good time for that, i suppose.

Monica Sharman said...

Oh...that part about the toccata got me.

Unknown said...

This is awesome :)

Lisa notes... said...

I don’t think I’ve thought about it, but yes, it probably is easier to answer the negative form: how I don’t hear from God.

Nonetheless, what a fantastic list you came up with on ways we do hear God.

“I hear God because I have to listen.” Great ending. Thanks for sharing.

H. Gillham said...

I hear God when I am quiet.


Thanks for the list.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God. Day and night the stars pour forth speech. We can forget that God speaks through so many things if we are paying attention. Thanks Glynn.

Anonymous said...

When I look into a sky that is bigger than me I see a God that is bigger than any situation.

Anonymous said...

You might have started out listing how you don't hear God, but this list is powerful, Glynn! Thank you for sharing it and showing that you hear God in the positive and in the negative.

Sheryl said...

. . . when I pay attention.

Thanks for a beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder that he speaks in so many ways.

S. Etole said...

in the still and in the not so still ... He speaks

HisFireFly said...

Beautiful Glynn!

He seems to making me listen harder, as if I had been too lazy before.

Linda said...

Profound truth and perfect simplicity Glynn. For so long I struggled with knowing how to hear God. I thought surely it was something far too deep to be easily done - especially by me.
I have come to understand it is just as you say. I admit, though, that there are times I dearly wish I could hear His audible voice.

Jerry said...

This was like a cue tip in the wax filled ear. thanks Glynn.

Jessica said...


Bonnie Gray said...

I long to hear God in as many ways as you do, Glynn! What a rich and bountiful relationships you have with our Lord. Being near your jam posts is influencing me, like fragrance that fills the air. It's another home run post.

I especially love the twist on "how do I NOT hear God?" I hope to grow in hearing His voice as you do!

Thank you for adding this to the jam!