Are we really listening? This week I’m taking five minutes with the Five Minute Friday #fmfparty gang to write unedited on a theme sent out by Kate Motaung. The word-prompt today is WHISPER.
What a crazy cacophony in my head. Urgent, driven anxieties shout loudest, then come the nay-sayers, the doomsmongers, and the plaintive expectancy expressed in resistance to the flood-tide struggles to be heard.
There’s a voice that dominates, but I have a plan about that. She’s too damn negative. She says ‘no’ to opportunities and new experiences. She’s too driven, and too much in a rush to stop and breathe in the sounds of bird’s wings as they fly by, or the brush of breeze on a gusty day. She’s not even living life. Bound up in her bitterness, frozen in fear, she’s loud in my head because she’s in pain.
The whisper… well hers is the voice I want to vindicate. It’s that rhetoric that will be released. The quiet voice is the authentic. It’s the real, true passion. It’s boundless, free, fearless, wild. She’s quiet, because she’s being borne on the winds and doesn’t need to scream for attention. She’s flying, drinking deep, connected, abiding. This whisper is a voice of intimacy. It draws near, so near. You have to hold your breath to hear it above your own heartbeat, your own rustling movements. But when you listen… well! It’s the loudest, most compelling voice of all.
This image I’m sharing is a Byzantine icon Elijah under the Broom tree, depicting the story told in 1 Kings 19. Elijah had just confronted the prophets of Baal, and despite the magnificent demonstration of God’s power, right after the triumph he found himself deeply discouraged and afraid for his life. The blog post that features this image shares some moving insights on what happens to us as we come to the end of ourselves, and surrender to the Voice of God. Read more here: Learning form the Faith of Elijah: Resting under the Broom Tree.