Thursday, May 30, 2013


Mountain Stream, Highlands, NC

I’ve listened to a few folks relate how God speaks to them in what seems to be a conversational mode. Well, could be they have a direct line connection while the rest of us seem to be on a party line. Conversely, I’ve talked to people who say they talk to God but they never seem to get an answer. Or at least they don’t hear anything in response, except maybe a busy signal or a recorded message that says “your call is important to us, please hold”. And of course, we don’t want to overlook the fact that there are two equally critical components of communication—speaking AND listening.

Frankly, I’m not sure that we should be so paranoid about waiting for some kind of a literal conversation or even a recorded heavenly robo call message. I believe God reveals himself in a variety of ways and places in this life. I’ve stood and listened to the choir in Notre Dame Cathedral and spent hours in the sanctuaries of neighborhood churches. And I can sense God’s presence wherever I make a mindful effort to receive it. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the morning in the garden as they established a relationship together. A relationship that included at its core a new concept of free will—the free will choice to either seek to nourish and grow a relationship or turn and walk away.

Psalm 46:10 informs us to be still and know God. I’m convinced that God is in all things, so that quiet place for us can be found inside a sacred building or outside in the sanctuary of nature. I’ve motionlessly sat on warm boulders at the rim of gapping canyons and listened to the Bernoulli winds sing in the pine needles next to ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings. I’ve listened to gentle breezes rustle the maple leaves in my backyard as they cooled the moisture on my brow. I’ve quietly stood beside a cold, gurgling mountain stream rushing over polished glacier stones and calling out to me as they plunged headlong towards their origin in the vast oceans. I’ve silently swam in these oceans and let the ceaseless rhythms of the incoming waves conjure up reminiscent sounds of my days in the womb. And I’ve silently walked through waving prairie grasses and urban parks and heard the plaintive songs of the birds of the air calm my spirit and give me new strength.

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