I am trying something new. Really, I am putting something old back into my daily life. But, it has been so long since I’ve done this, that it feels really new. Again.
I am listening to the Holy Spirit daily.
Years ago my conservative Baptist walls crumbled down around me and I fell head over heals for a God bigger than I can fathom. Theology flew into pieces like a million little gnats, all competing for the same sweet air under the Light. My spiritual eyes marveled at a God who is not contained between the covers of my Bible.
And I don’t mean that He no longer aligns with Scripture – He made His Word live before my human eyes in ways I’d never seen before. I suddenly saw my Bible as a very small end of a massive funnel, pouring over me as much of God as only what my finite human self can absorb and wrestle with and still survive.
And I heard His voice too.
Not audibly. But in words, in pictures and dreams, and in ways I cannot describe but that my soul understands completely. I lived life seeking to define the sound of His voice, discovering it and daring to make mistakes knowing that in doing so I’d learn even better what His sound within me is.
Life took a turn and I slowly stopped the dailiness of listening. Life took a turn in many meanings. Confusing, frustrating, wounding, painful, relieving, fearful and hidden. A slow leaking of joy draining out, is how I describe my life without listening for the Sound of my Creator.
Until recently I had been so out of the habit that I had forgotten massive pieces of living. With the encouragement of someone bold and in love with her Creator, I opened my ears again. My ears and my eyes. Each day has held something different, exciting, challenging, enlivening!
Today I woke up and discovered His desire for my morning. And, that’s the thing: He’s not bossy. I can join Him, or not. He loves me just the same, is with me throughout the day and faithfully fulfills His promises to me, simply because He is Faithful. The fun part is when I take Him up on His invitation, and join Him in what He desires.
Today, it was a brisk walk in the chill morning air with my toddler, after dropping my older two off at school. I had no idea where I was going, just that I needed to walk. And to pray. The words that came to me to pray were, peace, joy, hope, restoration – and so I walked through a neighborhood praying these things and turning up streets as He directed.
This is where it gets exciting! I came up one street, and I was getting really confused about whether it was His sound or my own sound that was saying “turn right” or “go straight” when I saw an older woman walking two dogs. My toddler pointed and declared, “two Fuffers, Mommy!” (Fuffers being his term for puppy, thanks to our fluffy white Havanese/Coton mix pup.) That sealed the deal for me. We went straight. I asked her about her dogs, she lit up and opened up.
Marilyn told me about her mother moving into a nursing home, the alzheimer’s wing, and her struggles emotionally while selling her mother’s house, and the extra weight she put on which put her in such a health risk that her doctor gave her 3 months to live if she didn’t make changes, her recent injury that prevented her from exercising and her discouragement from that, how her children, three of them, gave her a wii for Christmas to help her get on a program that was injury friendly, and how one of her sons just had a baby girl, her first grandchild. She told me of her early years as a mom, how it was important to her to be at home with her children, and the sacrifices that she made to do so. And she told me about her children living so far away from her, but how proud of them she is. And that her husband, thin as a rail, is still working because he doesn’t want to retire.
Her eyes glistened and she engaged my toddler with yearning reserve, pointing to her house just a few feet away, saying, “please come by and knock on my door one of these mornings? I would love to see you again.”
The boldness to walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation is totally new to me. That I am excitedly waiting for the leading of His Sound in me to return to her home is entirely new to me. The sense of His deep tenderness and concern, His care and intimacy, is uplifting and reassuring. A million thoughts and feelings chortled through my mind… Amazing!
As I walked back to my car my world filled with a deeply contented joy that I realized I’ve been missing. I wanted to sing loudly! And I did hum… sort of loudly, because I’m not that bold yet. But I will be. Soon. Because I’m not giving up the privilege of hearing my Creator’s voice so easily again. And I cannot wait!