I’m on the tail end of a super fun cold. One of those where you cough so hard you feel like your abs just improved by about 50%. #silverlinings You won’t see me in a crop top anytime soon, but seriously, Lifetime instructors have nothing on a winter cough. Anyway… thanks to said cough, I ended up loosing my voice completely; to the point that all I could crank out was a whisper — and as I softly spoke through our school day I noticed something interesting.
I was quiet, so my kids were quiet. My voice was not loud, so when I said something my kids were looking at my face with rapt attention. They needed to know what I was saying and so they ignored competing noises. I repeated myself less often. And the general peace in the room was palpable.
This may not seem mind-blowing to the naturally soft-spoken, or those who are less volume intense (I think you’re amazing, teach us your ways); but it was notable to me. I had their attention and they mirrored my volume. The only variable that had changed was the fact that I was quieter. and it made me consider two things:
- Perhaps there is something to the fact that God comes to us with a still small voice.
- Our kids emulate.
“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” — 1 Kings 19:11-12
Elijah was in the thick of his ministry. And for a whole slew of reasons he was desperate for nearness to God. So he journeyed, and poured out his heart before the Lord. He was heard. And he was responded to. Elijah was not confused, his attention was rapt, and he was cared for deeply even as he was given instructions for what to do next. Yes to that.
So What do we Do with That Thought?
So if you find yourself in a place where things are loud around you, or maybe just so demanding that you feel fearful or confused, maybe some silence would minister to your heart too. Perhaps finding a way to get quiet and listen to the One who’s words often come in whispers could be the most brilliant way you could hear more clearly. Quiet does not mean unclear. Listen and look intently into the face of the one who loves you, leads you, and offers us access so that we might learn from him. His voice is gentle, and when we can ignore the outside noises clamoring for our attention and simply fix our eyes on him… what might that do to our responses? I bet they would be ones informed by his words. Responses to challenges and learnings that are direction by his discernment. Knowledge and wisdom might be born. We can engage our assignments and do great and mighty things when we will but look at his face and listen to his words. And don’t we want our children to do this? Don’t we hope that they might emulate a behavior when they go before God that they have watched us do ourselves? And even practiced in our own presence? Let’s position ourselves to listen.